Improving vitamin D testing and supplementation in children with newly diagnosed cancer: A quality improvement initiative at Rady Children's Hospital San Diego

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Published on Thursday, 14 October 2021

Abstract

Background: Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency have been associated with poorer health outcomes. Children with cancer are at high risk for vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency. At our institution, we identified high variability in vitamin D testing and supplementation in this population. Of those tested, 65% were vitamin D deficient/insufficient. We conducted a quality improvement (QI) initiative with aim to improve vitamin D testing and supplementation among children aged 2-18 years with newly diagnosed cancer to ≥80% over 6 months.

Methods: An inter-professional team reviewed baseline data, then developed and implemented interventions using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles. Barriers were identified using QI tools, including lack of automated triggers for testing and inconsistent supplementation criteria and follow-up testing post supplementation. Interventions included an institutional vitamin D guideline, clinical decision-making tree for vitamin D deficiency, insufficiency and sufficiency, electronic medical record triggers, and automated testing options.

Results: Baseline: N = 26 patients, four (15%) had baseline vitamin D testing; two (8%) received appropriate supplementation. Postintervention: N = 33 patients; 32 (97%) had baseline vitamin D testing; 33 (100%) received appropriate supplementation and completed follow-up testing timely (6-8 weeks post supplementation). Change was sustained over 24 months.

Conclusions: We achieved and sustained our aim for vitamin D testing and supplementation in children with newly diagnosed cancer through inter-professional collaboration of hematology/oncology, endocrinology, hospital medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and information technology. Future PDSA cycles will address patient compliance with vitamin D supplementation and impact on patients' vitamin D levels.

 

About this publication.

See also:

- Official Web Site: The Di Bella Method;


 


- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Dihydrotachysterol, Alfacalcidol, synthetic Vitamin D3);

- Vitamin D (analogues and/or derivatives) and cancer - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Calcium, 2 grams per day, orally);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Cyclophosphamide 50mg tablets and/or Hydroxyurea 500mg tablets, one or two per day);


 


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