Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 August 2021
Every year in Australia over a thousand children who are born with congenital heart disease require surgical intervention. Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) can be an unavoidable and potentially devastating complication of surgery for congenital heart disease. Structured, multidisciplinary care pathways help to guide clinical care and reduce mortality and morbidity. An implementation study was conducted to embed a novel, multidisciplinary management pathway into practice using the consolidated framework for implementation research (CFIR). The goal of the pathway was to prepare children with postoperative vocal cord dysfunction to safely commence and transition to oral feeding. Education sessions to support pathway rollout were completed with clinical stakeholders. Other implementation strategies used included adaptation of the pre-procedural pathway to obtain consent, improving the process of identifying patients on the VCD pathway, and nominating a small team who were responsible for the ongoing monitoring of patients following recruitment. Implementation success was evaluated according to compliance with pathway defined management. Our study found that while there were several barriers to pathway adoption, implementation of the pathway was feasible despite pathway adaptations that were required in response to COVID-19.