Pediatric high users of Canadian hospitals and emergency departments

Tiller, Ryan and Chan, Kevin and Knight, John Christopher and Chafe, Roger (2021) Pediatric high users of Canadian hospitals and emergency departments. PLoS ONE, 16 (5). ISSN 1932-6203

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Introduction Few studies have examined the most frequent pediatric users of hospital services. Our objective was to determine the clinical diagnoses, demographic characteristics, and medical severity of high-use pediatric patients in Canada. Methods We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients <18 years of age who either were admitted to hospital or visited an emergency department (ED) using the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s (CIHI) Dynamic Cohort of Complex, High System Users. The analysis of hospital admission data excluded Quebec and Manitoba. ED data was only available for Alberta and Ontario. Results 121 104 patients were identified as the most frequent hospital users and 459 998 patients as the most frequent ED users. High users were more likely to reside in a rural community, to be in a lower income quintile, and face more deprivation. The most frequent conditions for hospitalization for high use patients were disorders related to length of prematurity and fetal growth, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders specific to the perinatal period, and haemorrhagic and haematological disorders of fetus and newborn. For the most frequent ED users, the most common clinical diagnoses were acute upper respiratory infections, injuries to the head, and diseases of the middle ear and mastoid. Conclusion Pediatric high users by frequency of hospital and ED services are a distinct population. Better understanding their characteristics will allow for more appropriate planning of children’s health services and help identify areas for effective preventive or quality improvement initiatives.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 15373
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 6 May 2021
Date Type: Publication
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
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