Pediatric Bronchiolitis Quality Improvement

University of California (UC) Davis logo

University of California (UC) Davis






Other: Bronchiolitis quality improvement

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Bronchiolitis is a respiratory illness characterized by acute inflammation of the airways, typically caused by a virus. By definition, it impacts children between 2 months and 2 years of age and is the most common cause of hospitalization among infants in the first year of life (American Academy of Pediatrics). Children with this illness may exhibit respiratory distress, as well as symptoms of viral respiratory illness, such as sneezing, nasal congestion, and cough. Often, hospitalization is required for respiratory distress and to support hydration needs. Evidence based guidelines for the treatment of acute viral bronchiolitis primarily involve supportive care, which most often includes supplemental oxygen, hydration, and suctioning of secretions. However, in practice, bronchiolitis care is highly variable, often involving therapies such as inhaled bronchodilators, systemic corticosteroids, inhaled hypertonic saline, continuous pulse oximetry, chest physiotherapy, antibacterial medications, and use of intravenous fluids, all of which have been shown to be unnecessary and costly. Unnecessary care remains although multiple published quality improvement studies centered on acute bronchiolitis have proven successful. Quality improvement interventions have shown reduced use of unnecessary treatments and reduced resource allocation. Therefore, the investigators will conduct a quality improvement process to improve adherence to bronchiolitis treatment guidelines for children with bronchiolitis treated at University of California Davis Children's Hospital.

Full description

A multidisciplinary team, involving pediatric hospitalists, pediatric emergency physicians, residents, medical students, nurses and nurse managers, and respiratory therapists will be assembled. The investigators will participate in a value stream mapping process, to map out the current pediatric bronchiolitis care process and identify areas for improvement in efficiency and effectiveness. The investigators will then begin the iterative process of implementing improvements to the bronchiolitis care process. Interventions will be evidence-based and designed to improve compliance with bronchiolitis care guidelines, as set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Examples of possible interventions may include creation of a bronchiolitis admission order set, implementation of an evidence-based bronchiolitis clinical pathway, and/or institution of standardized bronchiolitis discharge criteria. Interventions will be implemented in a stepwise fashion, utilizing successive plan-do-study-act cycles, with a minimum 2 month period between interventions to monitor outcomes. The investigators will track utilization of diagnostic testing and treatments within our intervention group, as compared to historical controls who also meet inclusion criteria.


1,321 patients




1 day to 2 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Children less than 2 years of age admitted to UC Davis Children's Hospital with any diagnosis of bronchiolitis

Exclusion criteria

  • Children or adults greater than 2 years of age
  • Children born at less than 35 weeks gestational age
  • Children with underlying illnesses, such as chronic lung disease, congenital heart disease, other congenital anomalies including airway anomalies, or immunodeficiencies

Trial design

Primary purpose

Supportive Care



Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

1,321 participants in 2 patient groups

Retrospective Controls
No Intervention group
A retrospective control group of patients with a diagnosis of bronchiolitis and meeting inclusion criteria will be used as a comparison group. These patients received usual care for bronchiolitis at our institution.
Quality Improvement
Experimental group
All patients diagnosed with bronchiolitis and meeting inclusion criteria will undergo the intervention of a bronchiolitis quality improvement process to improve bronchiolitis care quality at our institution.
Other: Bronchiolitis quality improvement

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from

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