Decreasing overutilization of echocardiograms and abdominal imaging in the evaluation of children with fungemia

Donna Cheung, Mora Puertolas-Lopez, Gwendolyn Scott, Amber Langshaw, Yvonne Diaz, Marie Anne Sosa, Gwenn E. McLaughlin, Amanda Fifi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Pediatric fungemia is associated with a low risk of fungal endocarditis and renal infections. The majority of current guidelines do not recommend routine abdominal imaging/echocardiograms in the evaluation of fungemia, but such imaging has been routinely ordered for patients on the pediatric gastroenterology service at our institution. Our goals were to assess the financial impact of this deviation from current clinical guidelines and redefine the standard work to reduce overutilization of abdominal ultrasounds and echocardiograms. Specifically, our goal was to reduce imaging by 50% by 18 months. Methods: Root cause analysis showed a lack of familiarity with current evidence. Using this data, countermeasures were implemented, including practitioner education of guidelines and creation of a readily accessible clinical pathway and an electronic order set for pediatric fungemia management. Balancing measures were missed episodes of fungal endocarditis and renal infection. Results: During the period January 1, 2016 to November 19, 2017, 18 of 21 episodes of fungemia in our pediatric institution occurred in patients admitted to the pediatric gastroenterology service. Abdominal imaging and echocardiograms were done 100% of the time, with no positive findings and an estimated cost of approximately $58,000. Post-intervention from November 20, 2017 to April 3, 2019, 7 of 13 episodes of fungemia occurred on this service. Frequency of abdominal imaging and echocardiograms decreased to 43% and 57%, respectively. No episodes of fungal endocarditis or renal infection were identified. Conclusion: Overutilization of abdominal imaging and echocardiograms in pediatric fungemia evaluation can be safely decreased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-276
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Outcomes Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Candidemia
  • Cost
  • Endocarditis
  • Guidelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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