COVID-2019 Alert

The latest information about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, including vaccine clinics for children ages 6 months and older.

La información más reciente sobre el nuevo Coronavirus de 2019, incluidas las clínicas de vacunación para niños de 6 meses en adelante.


Francisco Alvarez, MD

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Trabajo y educación


Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, 05/29/2000

Últimos años de residencia

St Christophers Pediatric Residency, Philadelphia, PA, 06/30/2003

Certificado(s) de especialidad

Pediatric Hospital Medicine, American Board of Med Specialties

Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics

Todo Publicaciones

Healthcare utilization in children across the care continuum during the COVID-19 pandemic. PloS one Schroeder, A. R., Dahlen, A., Purington, N., Alvarez, F., Brooks, R., Destino, L., Madduri, G., Wang, M., Coon, E. R. 2022; 17 (10): e0276461


OBJECTIVES: Healthcare utilization decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, likely due to reduced transmission of infections and healthcare avoidance. Though various investigations have described these changing patterns in children, most have analyzed specific care settings. We compared healthcare utilization, prescriptions, and diagnosis patterns in children across the care continuum during the first year of the pandemic with preceding years.STUDY DESIGN: Using national claims data, we compared enrollees under 18 years during the pre-pandemic (January 2016 -mid-March 2020) and pandemic (mid-March 2020 through March 2021) periods. The pandemic was further divided into early (mid-March through mid-June 2020) and middle (mid-June 2020 through March 2021) periods. Utilization was compared using interrupted time series.RESULTS: The mean number of pediatric enrollees/month was 2,519,755 in the pre-pandemic and 2,428,912 in the pandemic period. Utilization decreased across all settings in the early pandemic, with the greatest decrease (76.9%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 72.6-80.5%) seen for urgent care visits. Only well visits returned to pre-pandemic rates during the mid-pandemic. Hospitalizations decreased by 43% (95% CI 37.4-48.1) during the early pandemic and were still 26.6% (17.7-34.6) lower mid-pandemic. However, hospitalizations in non-psychiatric facilities for various mental health disorders increased substantially mid-pandemic.CONCLUSION: Healthcare utilization in children dropped substantially during the first year of the pandemic, with a shift away from infectious diseases and a spike in mental health hospitalizations. These findings are important to characterize as we monitor the health of children, can be used to inform healthcare strategies during subsequent COVID-19 surges and/or future pandemics, and may help identify training gaps for pediatric trainees. Subsequent investigations should examine how changes in healthcare utilization impacted the incidence and outcomes of specific diseases.

View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0276461

View details for PubMedID 36301947

Choosing Wisely in Pediatric Hospital Medicine: 5 New Recommendations to Improve Value. Hospital pediatrics Tchou, M. J., Schondelmeyer, A. C., Alvarez, F., Holmes, A. V., Lee, V., Lossius, M. N., O'Callaghan, J., Rajbhandari, P., Soung, P. J., Quinonez, R. 2021


OBJECTIVES: The health care system faces ongoing challenges due to low-value care. Building on the first pediatric hospital medicine contribution to the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation Choosing Wisely Campaign, a working group was convened to identify additional priorities for improving health care value for hospitalized children.METHODS: A study team composed of nominees from national pediatric medical professional societies was convened, including pediatric hospitalists with expertise in clinical care, hospital leadership, and research. The study team surveyed national pediatric hospitalist LISTSERVs for suggestions, condensed similar responses, and performed a literature search of articles published in the previous 10 years. Using a modified Delphi process, the team completed a series of structured ratings of feasibility and validity and facilitated group discussion. The sum of final mean validity and feasibility scores was used to identify the 5 highest priority recommendations.RESULTS: Two hundred seven respondents suggested 397 preliminary recommendations, yielding 74 unique recommendations that underwent evidence review and rating. The 5 highest-scoring recommendations had a focus on the following aspects of hospital care: (1) length of intravenous antibiotic therapy before transition to oral antibiotics, (2) length of stay for febrile infants evaluated for serious bacterial infection, (3) phototherapy for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, (4) antibiotic therapy for community-acquired pneumonia, and (5) initiation of intravenous antibiotics in infants with maternal risk factors for sepsis.CONCLUSIONS: We propose that pediatric hospitalists can use this list to prioritize quality improvement and scholarly work focused on improving the value and quality of patient care for hospitalized children.

View details for DOI 10.1542/hpeds.2021-006037

View details for PubMedID 34667087

Choosing Wisely: Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question Alvarez, F., Holmes, A., Lee, V., O'Callaghan, J., Quinonez, R., Rajbhandari, P., Schondelmeyer , A., Soung, P., Tchou, M. Society of Hospital Medicine. 2021

View details for DOI 10.12788/jhm.3668

View details for PubMedID 34424187

Lessons Learned From the Pediatric Overflow Planning Contingency Response Network: A Transdisciplinary Virtual Collaboration Addressing Health System Fragmentation and Disparity During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of hospital medicine El-Hage, L., Ratner, L., Sridhar, S., Jenkins, A. 2021

View details for DOI 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.2435

View details for PubMedID 34424270

The Silent Crisis of Pediatric Clinical Practice Guidelines. JAMA pediatrics Rea, C. J., Alvarez, F. J., Tieder, J. S. 2021

View details for DOI 10.12788/jhm.3397

View details for PubMedID 32716285

SECTION 1. COMMON CLINICAL DIAGNOSES AND CONDITIONS. Journal of hospital medicine 2020; 15 (S1): 1867


As a newly recognized subspecialty, understanding programmatic models for pediatric hospital medicine (PHM) programs is vital to lay the groundwork for a sustainable field. Although variability has been described within university-based PHM programs, there remains no national benchmark for community-based PHM programs. In this report, we describe the workload, clinical services, employment, and perception of sustainability of 70 community-based PHM programs in 29 states through a survey of community site leaders. The median hours for a full-time hospitalist was 1,882 hours/year with those employed by community hospitals working 8% more hours/year and viewing appropriate morning pediatric census as 20% higher than those employed by university institutions. Forty-three out of 70 (63%) site leaders perceived their programs as sustainable, with no significant difference by employer structure. Future studies should further explore root causes for workload discrepancies between community and academic employed programs along with establishing potential standards for PHM program development.

View details for DOI 10.12788/jhm.3263

View details for PubMedID 31433774

Community Pediatric Hospitalist Workload: Results from a National Survey. Journal of hospital medicine Alvarez, F., McDaniel, C. E., Birnie, K., Gosdin, C., Mariani, A., Paciorkowski, N., Mendez, S. S., Weng, Y., Fromme, H. B. 2019; 14: E1E4

View details for PubMedID 30675084

View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6336204

The Value of Pediatricians on Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committees. P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management Austin, J. P., Gunden, S. n., Hoffner, W. n., Ismail, L. n., Mendez, S. n., Alvarez, F. n. 2019; 44 (1): 24


Most children in the United States are treated in adult settings. Studies show that the pediatric population is vulnerable to medication errors. It can be extrapolated that children cared for in adult settings are at equal or higher risk for errors. The goal of this study was to assess the existing pediatric medication safety infrastructure within adult hospitals.Questionnaire developed through Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) and distributed to pediatric hospitalist programs listed on the American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Hospital Medicine web site and members of the American Academy of Pediatrics Quality Improvement Innovation Networks listserv. There were >20 questions regarding the use of various safety measures and characteristics of the hospital.Thirty-eight program staff and 26 Quality Improvement Innovation Networks listserv members completed the survey (total = 64). Of these, 90.6% use order sets or computerized provider order entry with pediatric weight-based dosing, 79.7% review pediatric medication safety events or concerns, 58.7% were aware that their hospital had defined or documented maximum doses on orders, and 50.0% had milligram-per-kilogram dosing required to be in the order. A majority of respondents document weights only in the metric system (kilograms or grams) in both the emergency department and the pediatric unit (84.4% and 92.1%, respectively). A total of 57.8% of hospitals had pharmacists trained in pediatrics, with hospitals with >300 beds more likely to have a pediatric pharmacist than those with <300 beds (75% vs 44%, P .05).Pediatric medication safety infrastructure shows variations within the sites surveyed. Our results indicate that certain deficiencies are more widespread than others, providing opportunities for targeted, but hospital-specific interventions.

View details for DOI 10.1542/hpeds.2016-0068

View details for PubMedID 27811162

Pediatric Medication Safety in Adult Community Hospital Settings: A Glimpse Into Nationwide Practice. Hospital pediatrics Alvarez, F. n., Ismail, L. n., Markowsky, A. n. 2016; 6 (12): 74449


Standardization of evidence-based care, resource utilization, and cost efficiency are commonly used metrics to measure inpatient clinical care delivery. The aim of our project was to evaluate the effect of pediatric respiratory order sets and an asthma pathway on the efficiency and quality measures of pediatric patients treated with respiratory illnesses in an adult community hospital setting.We used a pre-post study to review pediatric patients admitted to the inpatient setting with the primary diagnoses of asthma, bronchiolitis, or pneumonia. Patients with concomitant chronic respiratory illnesses were excluded. After implementation of order sets and asthma pathway, we examined changes in respiratory medication use, hospital utilization cost, length of stay (LOS), and 30-day readmission rate. Statistical significance was measured via 2-tailed t-test and Fisher test.After implementation of evidence-based order sets and asthma pathway, utilization of bronchodilators decreased and the hospital utilization cost of patients with asthma was reduced from $2010 per patient in 2009 to $1174 per patient in 2011 (P < .05). Asthma LOS decreased from 1.90 days to 1.45 days (P < .05), bronchiolitis LOS decreased from 2.37 days to 2.04 days (P < .05), and pneumonia LOS decreased from 2.3 days to 2.1 days (P = .083). Readmission rates were unchanged.The use of order sets and an asthma pathway was associated with a reduction in respiratory treatment use as well as hospitalization utilization costs. Statistically significant decrease in LOS was achieved within the asthma and bronchiolitis populations but not in the pneumonia population. No statistically significant effect was found on the 30-day readmission rates.

View details for DOI 10.1542/hpeds.2015-0140

View details for PubMedID 26596964

The Effect of Implementation of Standardized, Evidence-Based Order Sets on Efficiency and Quality Measures for Pediatric Respiratory Illnesses in a Community Hospital. Hospital pediatrics Dayal, A. n., Alvarez, F. n. 2015; 5 (12): 62429
PHM16: How to Design, Improve Educational Programs at Community Hospitals Alvarez, F. The Hospitalist. 2016
PHM15: A Closer Look at Quality Indicators, Evaluation Tools Alvarez, F. The Hospitalist. 2015
PHM15: New Quality Measures for Children with Medical Complexity Alvarez, F. The Hospitalist. 2015
Albuterol MDI versus Nebulizer for Acute Asthma Exacerbation Alvarez, F. Hospital Pediatrics . Online Newsletter. 2008