Duration of Postoperative Mechanical Ventilation as a Quality Metric for Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Programs

Gaies, M.; Werho, D. K.; Zhang, W.; Donohue, J. E.; Tabbutt, S.; Ghanayem, N. S.; Scheurer, M. A.; Costello, J. M.; Gaynor, J. W.; Pasquali, S. K.; Dimick, J. B.; Banerjee, M.; Schwartz, S. M.

Ann Thorac Surg. 2017 Oct 11; 105(2):615-621


BACKGROUND: Few metrics exist to assess quality of care at pediatric cardiac surgical programs, limiting opportunities for benchmarking and quality improvement. Postoperative duration of mechanical ventilation (POMV) may be an important quality metric because of its association with complications and resource utilization. In this study we modelled case-mix-adjusted POMV duration and explored hospital performance across POMV metrics. METHODS: This study used the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium clinical registry to analyze 4,739 hospitalizations from 15 hospitals (October 2013 to August 2015). All patients admitted to pediatric cardiac intensive care units after an index cardiac operation were included. We fitted a model to predict duration of POMV accounting for patient characteristics. Robust estimates of SEs were obtained using bootstrap resampling. We created performance metrics based on observed-to-expected (O/E) POMV to compare hospitals. RESULTS: Overall, 3,108 patients (65.6%) received POMV; the remainder were extubated intraoperatively. Our model was well calibrated across groups; neonatal age had the largest effect on predicted POMV. These comparisons suggested clinically and statistically important variation in POMV duration across centers with a threefold difference observed in O/E ratios (0.6 to 1.7). We identified 1 hospital with better-than-expected and 3 hospitals with worse-than-expected performance (p < 0.05) based on the O/E ratio. CONCLUSIONS: We developed a novel case-mix-adjusted model to predict POMV duration after congenital heart operations. We report variation across hospitals on metrics of O/E duration of POMV that may be suitable for benchmarking quality of care. Identifying high-performing centers and practices that safely limit the duration of POMV could stimulate quality improvement efforts.

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