OBJECTIVES: We determined whether implementing the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) traumatic brain injury (TBI) prediction rules and providing risks of clinically important TBIs (ciTBIs) with computerized clinical decision support (CDS) reduces computed tomography (CT) use for children with minor head trauma. METHODS: Nonrandomized trial with concurrent controls at 5 pediatric emergency departments (PEDs) and 8 general EDs (GEDs) between November 2011 and June 2014. Patients were <18 years old with minor blunt head trauma. Intervention sites received CDS with CT recommendations and risks of ciTBI, both for patients at very low risk of ciTBI (no Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network rule factors) and those not at very low risk. The primary outcome was the rate of CT, analyzed by site, controlling for time trend. RESULTS: We analyzed 16 635 intervention and 2394 control patients. Adjusted for time trends, CT rates decreased significantly (P < .05) but modestly (2.3%-3.7%) at 2 of 4 intervention PEDs for children at very low risk. The other 2 PEDs had small (0.8%-1.5%) nonsignificant decreases. CT rates did not decrease consistently at the intervention GEDs, with low baseline CT rates (2.1%-4.0%) in those at very low risk. The control PED had little change in CT use in similar children (from 1.6% to 2.9%); the control GED showed a decrease in the CT rate (from 7.1% to 2.6%). For all children with minor head trauma, intervention sites had small decreases in CT rates (1.7%-6.2%). CONCLUSIONS: The implementation of TBI prediction rules and provision of risks of ciTBIs by using CDS was associated with modest, safe, but variable decreases in CT use. However, some secular trends were also noted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health