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Associations Between Pediatric Palliative Care Consultation and End-of-Life Preparation at an Academic Medical Center: A Retrospective EHR Analysis

Journal title
Hospital pediatrics
Publication year
Stutz, M.; Kao, R. L.; Huard, L.; Grotts, J.; Sanz, J.; Ross, M. K.

OBJECTIVES: Our aim in this study was to understand usage patterns of pediatric palliative care (PPC) consultation and associations with end-of-life preparation among pediatric patients who are deceased. METHODS: We reviewed 233 pediatric mortalities. Data extraction from the electronic health record included determination of PPC consultation by using Current Procedural Terminology codes. Diagnoses were identified by International Classification of Disease codes and were classified into categories of life-threatening complex chronic conditions (LT-CCCs). Data analysis included Student’s t test, Wilcoxon rank test, Fisher’s exact test, chi(2) test, and multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: The overall PPC consultation rate for pediatric patients who subsequently died was 24%. A PPC consultation for patients admitted to the pediatric ward and PICU was more likely than for patients cared for in the NICU (31% vs 12%, P < .01) and was more likely for those with an LT-CCC (40% vs 10%, P < .01), particularly malignancy (65% vs 35%, P < .01). Also noted were increased completion of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment forms (8 vs 0, P < .01) and increased documentation of mental health disorders (60% vs 40%, P = .02). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that PPC consultation for patients in the pediatric ward and PICU is more likely among patients with a greater number of LT-CCCs, and is associated with increased Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment preparation and documentation of mental health disorders. Patients at risk to not receive PPC consultation are those with acute illness and patients in the NICU.

Research abstracts