A statewide model program to improve emergency department readiness for pediatric care

Cichon, M. E.; Fuchs, S.; Lyons, E.; Leonard, D.

Ann Emerg Med. 2009 Feb 3; 54(2):198-204

Abstract

Pediatric emergency patients have unique needs, requiring specialized personnel, training, equipment, supplies, and medications. Deficiencies in these areas have resulted in historically poorer outcomes for pediatric patients versus adults. Since 1985, federally funded Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) programs in each state have been working to improve the quality of pediatric emergency care. The Health Resources and Services Administration now requires that all EMSC grantees report on specific performance measures. This includes implementation of a standardized system recognizing hospitals that are able to stabilize or manage pediatric medical emergencies and trauma cases. We describe the steps involved in implementing Illinois' 3-level facility recognition process to illustrate a model that other states might use to provide appropriate pediatric care and comply with new Health Resources and Services Administration performance measures.

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