A Healthcare Improvement Initiative to Increase Multidisciplinary Pain Management Referrals for Youth with Sickle Cell Disease.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.pmn.2020.03.005


BACKGROUND: Chronic pain is a complex integration of biological, psychological, and social variables. Multidisciplinary pain management experts design interventions that treat the multidimensional experience. Children and adolescents with sickle cell disease (SCD) are at risk for chronic pain. Increased risk is associated with multiple characteristics including sickle cell genotype, age, gender, frequency of hospitalization, duration of hospitalization, and certain comorbid diagnoses. Referral to pain management professionals for this population is often delayed.

AIMS: To increase multidisciplinary pain management referrals for youth with SCD identified to be at risk for chronic pain.

DESIGN: Implementation research.

SETTING: One pediatric, academic medical facility serving as a regional sickle cell treatment center in the Midwest.

PARTICIPANTS: Children greater than 2 years of age and less than 21 years of age with laboratory confirmed SCD.

METHODS: Implementation of an evidence-based screening tool using the consolidated framework for implementation research (CFIR) to guide project planning, design, and evaluation. The CFIR model was paired with the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) quality improvement methodology to operationalize workflow and sustain project aims.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Eighty-four percent of all eligible patients were screened during their routine sickle cell appointments resulting in a 110% increase in multidisciplinary pain management referrals. Future interventions and PDSA cycles are targeted at improving attendance at scheduled appointments, reducing hospitalizations, decreasing 30-day readmissions, and shortening length of stay.

Journal Title

Pain management nursing : official journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses





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