What is Pediatric Readiness?

Pediatric Readiness means that an Emergency Department has the processes, staff, and equipment to treat children, including the ability to recognize when a child may need more specialized care.

Do You Know How Prepared Your Local Hospital is to Treat Your Ill or Injured Child?

Caregivers, in a perceived emergency, are more likely to stop at the first large building they encounter with a red “Emergency” sign outside the driveway.

In the United States, most children receive their emergency department (ED) care in nonchildren’s hospitals.

Optimally all hospitals have the resources to care for children of all ages.

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How is Pediatric Readiness Measured?

In 2013-14 over 5,000 hospitals were invited to take a Pediatric Readiness Assessment, 83% of those hospitals responded, representing 24 million annual pediatric ED visits.

The assessment measured a hospital's preparedness by scoring key recommendations from the "2009 Guidelines for Care of Children in the ED."

A hospital could receive a maximum score of 100 on the assessment.

The assessment tool was designed to assist hospitals to self-measure levels of pediatric equipment availability, coordination of pediatric emergency care issues, as well as the availability of essential policies for children in emergency departments.

Hospitals were scored, on a 100 point scale, in 6 Main Areas related to the Care of Children in their Emergency Department:

  1. Administration and Coordination
  2. Physicians, Nurses, and Other Health Providers Staffing the ED
  3. Quality Improvement and/or Process Improvement for the ED
  4. Pediatric Patient Safety in the ED
  5. Policies, Procedures, and Protocols for the ED
  6. Equipment, Supplies, and Medications for the Care of Children
So... As a nation, how did we do?

Nationally the Emergency Departments in the United States, the Territories, and Freely Associated States scored...

These scores varied by hospital pediatric volume:

Smaller or remote hospitals are not as prepared to treat children as larger more urban hospitals- such as a Children's Hospital.
What did we learn?

We have some work to do, but we are improving.

49 of 50 states, 6 territories, and 3 freely associated states, have Emergency Medical Services for Children Programs that are funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of this program is to improve the medical care of children.

Reach out to your local representative to assist and advocate in efforts to improve the pediatric readiness of hospitals in your state.

Information for this presentation was developed by the Emergency Medical Services for Program, Health Resources and Services Administration, 2016. Developed jointly by the National EMSC Data Analysis Resource Center and the Pediatric Readiness Research Team.

The Emergency Medical Services for Children Program (EMSC) is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant numbers U03MC0008 and U07MC09174, respectively. This information or content and conclusions are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

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