Variation in Care and Clinical Outcomes Among Infants Hospitalized With Hyperbilirubinemia.

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DOI: 10.1542/hpeds.2020-0161


Objectives: To assess hospital-level variation in laboratory testing and intravenous fluid (IVF) use and examine the association between these interventions and hospitalization outcomes among infants admitted with neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.

Methods: We performed a retrospective multicenter study of infants aged 2 to 7 days hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of hyperbilirubinemia from December 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018, using the Pediatric Health Information System. Hospital-level variation in laboratory and IVF use was evaluated after adjusting for clinical and demographic factors and associated with hospital-level outcomes by using Pearson correlation.

Results: We identified 4396 infants hospitalized with hyperbilirubinemia. In addition to bilirubin level, the most frequently ordered laboratories were direct antiglobulin testing (45.7%), reticulocyte count (39.7%), complete blood cell counts (43.7%), ABO blood type (33.4%), and electrolyte panels (12.9%). IVFs were given to 26.3% of children. Extensive variation in laboratory testing and IVF administration was observed across hospitals (all P < .001). Increased use of laboratory testing but not IVFs was associated with a longer length of stay (P = .007 and .162, respectively). Neither supplementary laboratory use nor IVF use was associated with either readmissions or emergency department revisits.

Conclusions: Substantial variation exists among hospitals in the management of infants with hyperbilirubinemia. With our results, we suggest that additional testing outside of bilirubin measurement may unnecessarily increase resource use for infants hospitalized with hyperbilirubinemia.

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Hosp Pediatr





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