Implementation of a Clinical Pathway for Acute Care of Pediatric Concussion: Uptake, Outcomes, and Health Care Impacts
- Keith Yeates, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
- Kathryn Schneider, University of Calgary
- David Johnson, University of Calgary
- Roger Zemek, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
- Bruce Wright, University of Alberta
- Brenda Clark, University of Alberta
- Angelo Mikrogianakis, University of Calgary
- Karen Barlow, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute
- Alf Conradi, Stollery Children's Hospital
- Alberto Nettel-Aguirre, The Governors of The University of Calgary
- Alberta Health Services
Each year, 1-2 million children in North America suffer a concussion. Guidelines exist to manage the care of concussion in children but have not been implemented consistently. As a result, clinical practice varies widely from one health provider to another. This may be because clinical guidelines have not been translated into “clinical pathways” (i.e., simple steps that health providers can easily follow). In November 2015, the Maternal Newborn Child Youth (MNCY) Strategic Clinical Network of Alberta Health Services (AHS) convened an expert work group to develop clinical pathways for pediatric concussion to help fill this gap.
The current proposal seeks to conduct a rigorous evaluation of the implementation and impact of a clinical pathway for acute care of pediatric concussion across four sites in Alberta. The project aims to design a robust implementation plan, evaluate its impact on patient outcomes, and determine whether it leads to a reduction of health care utilization and costs. The clinical pathway will be implemented at four sites in Alberta over 24 months. No published studies have rigorously evaluated the implementation a clinical pathway for pediatric concussion. Thus, the proposed project will break new ground in efforts to promote better outcomes for children with concussion and reduce the associated public health burden. The project is especially innovative in its use of technology as part of the clinical pathway. The website portal and text-based reminder system could help transform the care of children with concussion nationally.