Evaluation of advanced practice provider related return visits to a pediatric emergency department and their outcomes

Batool Hussain, Nirupama Kannikeswaran, Reny Mathew, Rajan Arora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: While multiple studies have evaluated physician-related return visits (RVs) to a pediatric emergency department (PED) limited data exists for Advanced Practice Provider (APP)-related RVs, hence our study aimed to evaluate APP-related RVs and their outcomes in a PED. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of 72-h RVs where clinical care was independently provided by an APP during the index visit from January 2018 to December 2019. We extracted patient demographics, index and return visits' characteristics and outcomes. Reasons for RVs were categorized as progression of illness, medication-related, callbacks and others. Index visits were assessed for any diagnostic errors; impact of which to the patient was classified as none, minor or major. Results: Our APP-related RV rate was 2.1% (653/30,328). 462 eligible RVs were included in the final analysis. Majority of RVs were for medical reasons (n = 442, 95.7%); lower acuity (Emergency Severity Index ≥3, n = 426, 92.2%); due to persistence/progression of illness (n = 403; 87.2%) with viral illness being the common diagnosis (n = 159; 34.4%). 12 (2.6%) RVs were secondary to callbacks (8 radiology callbacks; 4 false positive blood cultures). Diagnostic errors were noted in 14 (3%) encounters of which 3 resulted in a major impact; radiological (7 fractures) and ophthalmological (2 corneal abrasions and 2 foreign bodies) misses constituted the majority of these. Conclusions: APP-related RVs for low acuity medical patients remain low and are associated with good outcomes. Diagnostic errors account for a minority of these RVs. Focused interventions targeting provider errors can further decrease these RVs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-178
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Advanced Practice Provider
  • Diagnostic errors
  • Pediatric emergency department
  • Quality of care
  • Return visits


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