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GAPPS Trigger Tool

The Global Assessment of Pediatric Patient Safety (GAPPS) Trigger Tool is designed to capture adverse events in all pediatric inpatient settings by using triggers (i.e. “flags”) found in patient records, which will increase the specificity and time-efficiency of medical record reviews. The measure consists of both the manual approach (for non-automated screens of medical records) and the automated approach (for automated screens of electronic health records). Funded through the Pediatric Quality Measures Program (PQMP) by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement (CEPQM) developed the Trigger Tool so that healthcare facilities can obtain pediatric patient safety data for use in internal, global, and service-specific quality improvement.

Hospitalized pediatric patients are susceptible to adverse events, which can occur during 1-11% of all hospitalizations. Higher risk pediatric populations, such as those in the pediatric intensive care units, have even higher rates with 203 adverse events per 100 patients. Voluntary incident reporting captures only 2-8% of all adverse events, and exhaustive chart review methods can be resource-intensive. An alternative approach is the use of trigger tools to detect adverse events. This methodology allows for a faster assessment than a full chart review and a greater likelihood for detection of an adverse event than voluntary reporting.

For more information about the GAPPS Trigger Tool development process and where to download the tool and instructions for its application, please see: Development and Content

GAPPS Core Team

  • Mark Schuster, MD, PhD (Principal Investigator, Director; Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School)
  • Chris Landrigan, MD, MPH (Measure Co-Leader; Boston Children’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School)
  • David Stockwell, MD, MBA (Measure Co-Leader; Children’s National Medical Center)
  • Sara Toomey, MD, MPH, MPhil, MSc (Managing Director; Boston Children’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School) 
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