A quality improvement study to improve inpatient problem list use

Leigh Anne Bakel, Karen Wilson, Amy Tyler, Eric Tham, Jennifer Reese, Joan Bothner, David W. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The problem list is a meaningful use incentivized criterion, and >80% of patients should have 1 problem entered as structured data. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to use a series of interventions to increase the use of the problem list for inpatients to >80% as measured by at least 1 hospital problem at discharge. METHODS: This study was a quasi-experimental time series quality improvement trial. The primary outcome was 80% of medical and psychiatric inpatients with a problem added to the problem list before discharge. Control charts of percentage (p charts) of medical and psychiatric patients with an inpatient problem list at discharge were constructed with three-σ control limits. Control limits were revised after evidence of improvement. The charts were annotated with interventions, including increasing awareness, focused education, and timely feedback in the form of performance graphs e-mailed to providers. RESULTS: For medical inpatients, use rose from 31% to 97% at its peak in April 2011 and continues to maintain above the goal of 80%. In psychiatry, problem list use rose from 2% initially to an average of 72% after the interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Significant gains were made with inpatient problem list usage by the medical and psychiatric teams. Our goal ascribed by meaningful use for >80% of inpatients to have a problem at discharge was met after initiation of our series of interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalHospital pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


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