Development and Testing of the Pediatric Respiratory Illness Measurement System (PRIMES) Quality Indicators

Published in: Hospital Pediatrics, March 2017, 7 (3) 125-133; DOI: 10.1542/hpeds.2016-0182

by Rita Mangione-Smith, Carol P. Roth, Maria T. Britto, Alex Y. Chen, Julie McGalliard, Thomas F. Boat, John L. Adams, Elizabeth A. McGlynn

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Development and Testing of the Pediatric Respiratory Illness Measurement System (PRIMES) Quality Indicators


To develop and test quality indicators for assessing care in pediatric hospital settings for common respiratory illnesses.


A sample of 2796 children discharged from the emergency department or inpatient setting at 1 of the 3 participating hospitals with a primary diagnosis of asthma, bronchiolitis, croup, or community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2011.


Three tertiary care children’'s hospitals in the United States.


We developed evidence-based quality indicators for asthma, bronchiolitis, croup, and CAP. Expert panel-endorsed indicators were included in the Pediatric Respiratory Illness Measurement System (PRIMES). This new set of pediatric quality measures was tested to assess feasibility of implementation and sensitivity to variations in care. Medical records data were extracted by trained abstractors. Quality measure scores (0–100 scale) were calculated by dividing the number of times indicated care was received by the number of eligible cases. Score differences within and between hospitals were determined by using the Student’'s t-test or analysis of variance.


CAP and croup condition-level PRIMES scores demonstrated significant between-hospital variations (P < .001). Asthma and bronchiolitis condition-level PRIMES scores demonstrated significant within-hospital variation with emergency department scores (means [SD] 82.2(6.1)-100.0 (14.4)] exceeding inpatient scores (means [SD] 71.1 (2.0)–90.8 (1.3); P < .001).


PRIMES is a new set of measures available for assessing the quality of hospital-based care for common pediatric respiratory illnesses.

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