Improving Communication During Pediatric Visits for Acute Respiratory Infections

Development and testing of the Dialogue Around Respiratory Illness Treatment (DART) quality improvement program

The Mangione-Smith Lab has spent over a decade studying how doctor–parent communication influences the decision to prescribe antibiotics for acute respiratory illness in the pediatric outpatient setting. Based on the findings of this research and under funding from the Eunice Kennedy National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Mangione-Smith and colleagues have developed a multifaceted quality improvement (QI) intervention for outpatient providers called Dialogue Around Respiratory Illness Treatment (DART). The DART QI program focuses on optimizing communication with families during visits for acute respiratory infection in order to avoid unnecessary antibiotic prescribing.

The research team is currently conducting a trial of the DART QI intervention in 20 pediatric practices across the nation in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics Pediatric Research in Office Settings Network (PROS) and the NorthShore Health System in Chicago to determine DART’s effectiveness in reducing overall antibiotic prescribing for respiratory illness in the pediatric outpatient setting.

Online tutorial modules for the DART program are publicly available on our DART Learning Modules page.