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Improving ondansetron use and oral rehydration instructions for pediatric acute gastroenteritis.


In paediatric patients with acute gastroenteritis (AGE), ondansetron use decreases the need for intravenous fluids, reduces hospitalisations and shortens illness duration. Oral rehydration is also known to have excellent outcomes for mild to moderate dehydration secondary to AGE. Although these interventions are recommended in guidelines from international professional societies, baseline data at our clinic showed that <2% of these patients were offered ondansetron, and that few patients received appropriately detailed rehydration instructions. Therefore, we engaged residents and fellows as teachers and leaders in our university clinic's quality improvement programme to promote evidence-based practice for paediatric AGE. Our gap analysis identified opportunities for interventions including educating paediatricians and paediatrics residents on the safety and utility of the medication. We created standardised oral rehydration after-visit instructions and implemented a trainee-led educational approach that encouraged appropriate medication use. We used a follow-up survey to uncover provider concerns and tailor future interventions. The process metrics included: proportion of paediatric patients appropriately treated with ondansetron (goal of 80%), and proportion of patients given appropriate oral rehydration instructions. The outcome metric was 7-day representation rates. To achieve sustainability, we restructured our process to have senior residents take ownership of teaching and data collection. Trainee-driven interventions increased ondansetron prescription rates to a median of 66.6%. Patients prescribed ondansetron were less likely to represent to care, although representation rate was low overall. Postintervention data suggests that prescription rates decreased without continued interventions and additional systems redesign may help sustain impact.

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