Original Contributions| Volume 57, ISSUE 2, P140-150, August 2019

Does Mentoring by Orthopedic Surgeons Improve Forearm Fracture Reduction Outcomes by Pediatric Emergency Physicians? Evaluation of a Process Improvement Intervention Program



      Forearm fractures are among the most frequently encountered orthopedic injuries in children. The maintenance of satisfactory alignment can be problematic and postreduction displacement with resultant malunion can occur.


      The objective of the study was to evaluate pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) physicians’ performance on forearm fracture reduction to determine the impact of a Process Improvement Intervention Program (PIIP) on postreduction displacement rates after initial reduction. The PIIP was designed to improve our PEM physicians’ skills and knowledge in how to properly apply and mold casts to better maintain the alignment of reduced forearm fractures.


      A PIIP was implemented during 2015–2016 when orthopedic surgeons mentored postfellowship-trained PEM physicians. Patient cohorts from pre- and post-PIIP implementation were investigated and compared to evaluate the impact of the PIIP on PEM physicians’ initial fracture reduction success rates and postreduction displacement rates. Descriptive and analytical statistics including univariate and multivariate models were tested to understand changes in physicians’ performance.


      Pre- and postcohorts had similar demographic and clinical characteristics and similarly high initial reduction success rates. When distal and midshaft fracture types were combined, there was no significant difference in postreduction displacement rates between the 2 cohorts, but when stratified based on fracture type, the distal radius postcohort showed a statistically significant improvement in postreduction maintenance.


      A PIIP by pediatric orthopedic surgeons did not change the PEM physicians’ initial fracture reduction success rate, but it did result in a statistically significant improvement in maintenance of reduction rates.


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