If we know better, why don't we do better? A rapid quality improvement project to increase utilization of comfort measures to reduce pain and distress in children in a COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.pedn.2024.01.024


INTRODUCTION: Many evidence-based tools exist to address pain and distress associated with injections; however, there remains a large gap between the knowledge of these tools and their utilization. Our hospital began a quality improvement (QI) project prior to COVID-19, with the goal of increasing the utilization of Comfort Promise measures during needle procedures. When COVID-19 vaccinations were approved, our mass vaccination clinics provided an opportunity to rapidly increase utilization across the institution. The primary aim was to increase the percentage of comfort measures (CM) offered with COVID-19 vaccinations.

METHODS: Through this QI project, nurses and other professionals implemented CMs during COVID mass vaccination clinics. Clinics occurred in 3 age-based waves. Waves served as Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles. Families completed post-vaccination surveys to determine what CMs were offered and intention for future use with vaccinations.

RESULTS: Uptake of CMs (PainEase, ShotBlockers, Comfort Positioning, Alternative Focus, Topical Lidocaine, and Breastfeeding/Sucrose) throughout the waves increased and generally remained stable. CMs also seemed to decrease pain/distress with vaccinations (70.5 to 88.7%), and children/caregivers intended to use some combination for future vaccinations (82.5 to 98.5%).

CONCLUSIONS: Fast-paced mass vaccination clinics provided an ideal opportunity to significantly increase utilization of CMs. Across age groups CMs yielded high satisfaction and interest in future utilization. Clinic nurses returned to their own sub-specialties and became change agents.

IMPLICATIONS: If all healthcare providers can work together to achieve consensus while incorporating comfort measures into daily practice, sustained change with incorporation of these evidence-based tools can be achieved. Future directions are discussed.

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Journal of pediatric nursing



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MeSH Keywords

Humans; Quality Improvement; COVID-19; Child; Female; Male; Mass Vaccination; Pain Management; Child, Preschool; COVID-19 Vaccines; SARS-CoV-2; Pain; Patient Comfort; Infant; Adolescent


COVID-19 vaccination; Comfort promise; Quality improvement

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