Sunitha Kaiser
Associate Professor
+1 415 476-5001


Dr. Kaiser's goal is to improve quality of care for hospitalized children by accelerating use of evidence-based guidelines in clinical practice. She is currently supported by a Career Development Award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Her objective is to identify, test, and disseminate best practices for clinical pathway implementation to improve quality of care for children hospitalized with respiratory illnesses.

Her approach, based on the concept of “positive deviance,” is that identification and examination of hospitals that demonstrate exceptional performance with pathway implementation can facilitate the discovery and wide dissemination of strategies to improve care. Steps in this mixed-methods approach include: 1) identify hospitals where pathway implementation led to the largest gains in performance, 2) study these hospitals using qualitative methods to identify best practices associated with high performance, and 3) test these best practices with rigorous design. The rationale is that high-performing hospitals will have replicable pathway implementation practices that will be critical to widespread national uptake, ultimately leading to consistent delivery of evidence-based practices and higher quality of care.

She has collaborated closely with PRIS, the largest national research network in pediatric hospital medicine, for steps 1 and 2 of this approach. In Fall 2017, she will lead efforts by the AAP and the Value in Inpatient Pediatrics Networks to implement and study a clinical pathway intervention bundle at 50 community hospitals across the country.

Education and Training

MSc, 2014 Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto
MD, 2008 School of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis
BA, 2004 Public Health Studies, Johns Hopkins University


Kaiser SV, Johnson MD, Walls TA, Teach SJ, Sampayo EM, Dudley NC, Zorc JJ. Pathways to Improve Pediatric Asthma Care: A Multisite, National Study of Emergency Department Asthma Pathway Implementation. J Pediatr. 2020 May 11.
Kaiser SV, Jennings B, Rodean J, Cabana MD, Garber MD, Ralston SL, Fassl B, Quinonez R, Mendoza JC, McCulloch CE, Parikh K. Pathways for Improving Inpatient Pediatric Asthma Care (PIPA): A Multicenter, National Study. Pediatrics. 2020 May 06.
Gupta N, Cattamanchi A, Cabana MD, Jennings B, Parikh K, Kaiser SV. Implementing pediatric inpatient asthma pathways. J Asthma. 2020 Mar 18; 1-10.
Ravid NL, Zamora K, Rehm R, Okumura M, Takayama J, Kaiser S. Implementation of a multidisciplinary discharge videoconference for children with medical complexity: a pilot study. Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2020; 6:27.
Pantell MS, Kaiser SV, Torres JM, Gottlieb LM, Adler NE. Associations Between Social Factor Documentation and Hospital Length of Stay and Readmission Among Children. Hosp Pediatr. 2020 Jan; 10(1):12-19.
Kaiser SV, Shadman KA, Biondi EA, McCulloh RJ. Feasible Strategies for Sustaining Guideline Adherence: Cross-sectional Analysis of a National Collaborative. Hosp Pediatr. 2019 11; 9(11):903-908.
McDaniel CE, Jeske M, Sampayo EM, Liu P, Walls TA, Kaiser SV. Implementing Pediatric Asthma Pathways in Community Hospitals: A National Qualitative Study. J Hosp Med. 2020 01 01; 15(1):35-41.
Kaiser SV, Lam R, Cabana MD, Bekmezian A, Bardach NS, Auerbach A, Rehm RS. Best practices in implementing inpatient pediatric asthma pathways: a qualitative study. J Asthma. 2019 Apr 25; 1-11.
Kaiser SV, Lam R, Joseph GB, McCulloch C, Hsia RY, Cabana MD, Bardach NS. Limitations of Using Pediatric Respiratory Illness Readmissions to Compare Hospital Performance. J Hosp Med. 2018 11; 13(11):737-742.
Kaiser SV, Garber MD. Using Quality Improvement to Tackle Unwarranted Practice Variation. Hosp Pediatr. 2018 06; 8(6):375-377.
Kaiser SV, Rodean J, Bekmezian A, Hall M, Shah SS, Mahant S, Parikh K, Auerbach AD, Morse R, Puls HT, McCulloch CE, Cabana MD. Effectiveness of Pediatric Asthma Pathways for Hospitalized Children: A Multicenter, National Analysis. J Pediatr. 2018 06; 197:165-171.e2.
Kaiser SV, Rodean J, Bekmezian A, Hall M, Shah SS, Mahant S, Parikh K, Morse R, Puls H, Cabana MD. Rising utilization of inpatient pediatric asthma pathways. J Asthma. 2018 02; 55(2):196-207.
Kaiser SV, Sundaram V, Cohen E, Shulman R, Guan J, Sanders L, Guttmann A. Health care for children with diabetes mellitus from low-income families in Ontario and California: a population-based cohort study. CMAJ Open. 2016 Oct-Dec; 4(4):E729-E736.
Kaiser SV, Huynh T, Bacharier LB, Rosenthal JL, Bakel LA, Parkin PC, Cabana MD. Preventing Exacerbations in Preschoolers With Recurrent Wheeze: A Meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2016 06; 137(6).
Rosenthal JL, Hilton JF, Teufel RJ, Romano PS, Kaiser SV, Okumura MJ. Profiling Interfacility Transfers for Hospitalized Pediatric Patients. Hosp Pediatr. 2016 Jun; 6(6):345-53.
Morgan MC, Kumar GS, Kaiser SV, Seetharam S, Ruel TD. Implementation of a neonatal transcutaneous bilirubin screening programme in rural India. Paediatr Int Child Health. 2016 May; 36(2):122-6.
Kaiser SV, Bakel LA, Okumura MJ, Auerbach AD, Rosenthal J, Cabana MD. Risk Factors for Prolonged Length of Stay or Complications During Pediatric Respiratory Hospitalizations. Hosp Pediatr. 2015 Sep; 5(9):461-73.
Kaiser SV, Asteria-Penaloza R, Vittinghoff E, Rosenbluth G, Cabana MD, Bardach NS. National patterns of codeine prescriptions for children in the emergency department. Pediatrics. 2014 May; 133(5):e1139-47.
Morgan MC, Ruel TD, Kumar GS, Sabnis AJ, Kaiser SV. . Predictors of Neonatal Sepsis in Rural Karnataka, India. Asian Journal of Clinical Pediatrics and Neonatology. 2013; 1(4):73-76.
Vemula S, Kerr S, Pancharoen C, Siripong A, Kosalaraksa P, Engchanil C, Chuamchaitrakool A, Intasan J, Lumbiganond P, Phanuphak P, Ananworanich J. Incidence and risk factors for non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI)-related rash in Thai children with HIV infection. J Med Assoc Thai. 2007 Nov; 90(11):2437-41.