Background: Currently there is limited knowledge on compliance with follow-up care in pediatric patients after abdominal trauma. The Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC) is a large regional health information exchange with both structured clinical data (e.g., diagnosis codes) and unstructured data (e.g., provider notes). The objective of this study is to determine if regional health information exchanges can be used to evaluate whether patients receive all follow-up care recommended by providers. Methods: We identified 61 patients treated at a Pediatric Level I Trauma Center who were admitted for isolated abdominal injuries. We analyzed medical records for two years following initial hospital discharge for injury using the INPC. The encounters were classified by the type of encounter: outpatient, emergency department, unplanned readmission, surgery, imaging studies, and inpatient admission; then further categorized into injury- and non-injury-related care, based on provider notes. We determined compliance with follow-up care instructions given at discharge and subsequent outpatient visits, as well as the prevalence of complications and sequelae. Results: After reviewing patient records, we found that 78.7% of patients received all recommended follow-up care, 6.6% received partial follow-up care, and 11.5% did not receive follow-up care. We found that 4.9% of patients developed complications after abdominal trauma and 9.8% developed sequelae in the two years following their initial hospitalization. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that health information exchanges such as the INPC are useful in evaluation of follow-up care compliance and prevalence of complications/sequelae after abdominal trauma in pediatric patients. Level of evidence: Level IV.
- Abdominal trauma
- Follow-up care compliance
- Outpatient complications
- Pediatric healthcare utilization
- Secondary health conditions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health