Title: Variation in advanced imaging for pediatric patients with abdominal pain discharged from the ED
Country: United States
Age: Pediatric Only
Sex: All Sexes
Care Setting: Emergency Department
Clinical Setting: GI/Abdominal
Data Level: Multi-Institution
Data Type: EHR
Data Source: Local data
Conclusion: Disparities In All Minority Groups
Health OutComes Reported: No
Free Text Conclusion: Black pediatric patients less likely to get imaging for abdominal pain.
Abstract: Background: Pediatric abdominal pain visits to emergency departments (ED) are common. The objectives of this study are to assess variation in imaging (ultrasound computed tomography [CT]) and factors associated with isolated CT use. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of ED visits for pediatric abdominal pain resulting in discharge from 16 regional EDs from 2007 to 2013. Primary outcome was ultrasound or CT imaging. Secondary outcome was isolated CT use. We used multivariable logistic regression to evaluate patient- and hospital-level covariates associated with imaging. Results: Of the 21 152 visits, imaging was performed in 29.7%, and isolated CT in 13.4% of visits. In multivariable analysis, black patients (odds ratio [OR], 0.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.4-0.5) and Medicaid (OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5-0.7) had lower odds of advanced imaging compared with white patients and private insurance, respectively. General EDs were less likely to perform imaging (OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5-0.7) compared with the pediatric ED; however, for visits with imaging, 3.5% of visits to the pediatric ED compared with 76% of those to general EDs included an isolated CT (P<.001). Low pediatric volume (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.5-2.2) and rural (OR,1.8; 95% CI, 1.3-2.5) EDs had higher odds of isolated CT use, compared with higher pediatric volumes and nonrural EDs, respectively. Conclusion: There are racial and insurance disparities in imaging for pediatric abdominal pain. General EDs are less likely than pediatric EDs to use imaging, but more likely to use isolated CT. Strategies are needed to minimize disparities and improve the use of "ultrasound first."