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Alternative approach to pediatric cardiac quality assessment for low‐volume centers

Amy E. Delaney1, Nina M. Dadlez2, Audrey C. Marshall2
1 Inpatient Pediatric Program, Franciscan Children's, Brighton, Massachusetts
2 Department of Pediatrics, The Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
* Corresponding Author: Amy E. Delaney, MSN, RN, CPNP‐AC/PC, Inpatient Medical Unit, Franciscan Children's, 30 Warren Street, Brighton, MA 02135. Email:

Congenital Heart Disease 2019, 14(4), 665-670.


Background: In pediatric cardiac care, many centers participate in multiple, national, domain‐specific registries, as a major component of their quality assessment and im‐ provement efforts. Small cardiac programs, whose clinical activities and scale may not be well‐suited to this approach, need alternative methods to assess and track quality.
Methods: We conceived of and piloted a rapid‐approach cardiac quality assessment, intended to encompass multiple aspects of the service line, in a low‐volume program. The assessment incorporated previously identified measures, drawn from multiple sources, and ultimately relied on retrospective chart review.
Results: A collaborative, multidisciplinary team formed and came to consensus on quality metrics pertaining to 3 chosen areas of clinical activity in the program. Despite the use of multiple different data sources and the need for manual chart review in data collection, a rich assessment of these program components was completed for presentation in 6 weeks.
Conclusions: While small programs may not participate in the spectrum of cardiac care registries available, these same centers can benefit from them by adapting some of their validated metrics for use in internal, self‐maintained quality reports. Our pilot of this alternative approach revealed opportunities for improved quality assessment practices; the product can serve as a baseline for future prospective assessment and reporting, as well as longitudinal internal benchmarking.


congenital heart disease, health care quality assessment, outcomes assessment, pediatric hospitals

Cite This Article

Delaney, A. E., Dadlez, N. M., Marshall, A. C. (2019). Alternative approach to pediatric cardiac quality assessment for low‐volume centers. Congenital Heart Disease, 14(4), 665–670.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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