Study objective: To determine the effect of providing risk estimates of clinically important traumatic brain injuries and management recommendations on emergency department (ED) outcomes for children with isolated intermediate Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network clinically important traumatic brain injury risk factors. Methods: This was a secondary analysis of a nonrandomized clinical trial with concurrent controls, conducted at 5 pediatric and 8 general EDs between November 2011 and June 2014, enrolling patients younger than 18 years who had minor blunt head trauma. After a baseline period, intervention sites received electronic clinical decision support providing patient-level clinically important traumatic brain injury risk estimates and management recommendations. The following primary outcomes in patients with one intermediate Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network risk factor were compared before and after clinical decision support: proportion of ED computed tomography (CT) scans, adjusted for age, time trend, and site; and prevalence of clinically important traumatic brain injuries. Results: The risk of clinically important traumatic brain injuries was known for 3,859 children with isolated findings (1,711 at intervention sites before clinical decision support, 1,702 at intervention sites after clinical decision support, and 446 at control sites). In this group, pooled CT proportion decreased from 24.2% to 21.6% after clinical decision support (odds ratio 0.86; 95% confidence interval 0.73 to 1.01). Decreases in CT use were noted across intervention EDs, but not in controls. The pooled adjusted odds ratio for CT use after clinical decision support was 0.73 (95% confidence interval 0.60 to 0.88). Among the entire cohort, clinically important traumatic brain injury was diagnosed at the index ED visit for 37 of 37 (100%) patients before clinical decision support and 32 of 33 patients (97.0%) after clinical decision support. Conclusion: Providing specific risks of clinically important traumatic brain injury through electronic clinical decision support was associated with a modest and safe decrease in ED CT use for children at nonnegligible risk of clinically important traumatic brain injuries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine