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Get the facts on pediatric readiness and the Prehospital Pediatric Readiness Project.

If your question is not answered below, email pprp@emscimprovement.center.

Find answers to general questions about the Prehospital Pediatric Readiness Project.

What is prehospital pediatric readiness?

Pediatric readiness means EMS and fire-rescue agencies are trained, equipped, and prepared to provide high-quality emergency care for children in accordance with national recommendations.

Why is pediatric readiness important?

While the majority of EMS and fire-rescue agencies provide emergency care to children, pediatric calls are rare for most agencies. Many EMS clinicians describe taking care of children as “scary.” Being “peds ready” can reduce anxiety and increase confidence. Research suggests it may also improve patient outcomes.

What is the PPRP?

The Prehospital Pediatric Readiness Project (PPRP) is a federally funded initiative of the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program. The project empowers EMS and fire-rescue agencies to improve their “pediatric readiness” or capability to care for acutely ill and injured children. The PPRP provides free and open-access tools and resources for improvement.

How can you know how “peds ready” your EMS agency is?

The PPRP has created several assessment tools designed to provide you with practical, usable information to understand how ready you really are to provide emergency care for children and improve your pediatric capabilities.

What are the steps to take to become pediatric ready?

There are four key steps to take to be prepared to provide appropriate care for children:

  • Step 1: Use the Prehospital Pediatric Readiness EMS Agency Checklist to quickly identify the key areas you should address to be “peds ready” and understand the focus areas included in the assessment. 
  • Step 2: Complete the PPRP Assessment. This online assessment includes in-depth questions and takes approximately 30-45 minutes. Once completed, you will receive a report detailing specific gaps in your pediatric readiness. This gap report will also include benchmarking information for you to compare your agency with similar ones. 
  • Step 3: Use the gap report to identify relevant resources in the Prehospital Pediatric Readiness Toolkit and begin working to address them. 
  • Step 4: Engage in future assessments to track progress as you continue to improve the pediatric readiness of your EMS or fire-rescue agency. Don’t forget to celebrate your success!

What national organizations are supporting these efforts?

The PPRP is supported by more than 30 national organizations, subject matter experts, and federal partners.

Find answers to general questions about the Prehospital Pediatric Readiness Assessment.

What is the 2024 PPRP Assessment?

The PPRP Assessment is a national assessment of EMS and fire-rescue agencies across the U.S. It is based on a joint policy statement and accompanying technical report regarding prehospital pediatric readiness, and helps agencies identify existing gaps in their readiness to help drive quality improvement efforts.

How does my EMS or fire-rescue agency participate in the PPRP assessment?

The assessment will launch on May 1, 2024. Designated agency personnel will receive several email notifications with a link inviting them to take the web-based assessment.  If desired, agency personnel can also print the assessment atemspedsready.org to review and gather information to prepare for the online assessment. 

Agencies who complete the PPRP assessment will immediately receive a Gap Report that includes:

  1. Agency pediatric readiness score from 0 – 100,
  2. Average scores of agencies of similar pediatric volume,
  3. Average score of all participating agencies to use as a benchmark, and
  4. Analysis to target efforts for improvement in pediatric readiness.

Who should complete the assessment?

Any EMS or fire-rescue agency responding to public 911 calls is being asked to complete the assessment. This includes both transporting and non-transporting services. 

An administrator at each agency receives an invitation to complete the assessment on behalf of their service. We encourage individuals to print a PDF copy of the PPRP assessment to review with their agency leadership before taking it online.

Why is participation in the 2024 PPRP assessment important?

The PPRP assessment helps EMS and fire-rescue personnel to be better prepared to provide quality care for all patients of all ages by evaluating categories of pediatric readiness over time. Research shows that higher pediatric readiness scores in hospital emergency departments are associated with a 4-fold lower rate of mortality for children with critical illness than those with lower readiness scores; results of the PPRP assessment will allow for the same important analysis in the prehospital arena.

My service does not transport patients to the hospital. Should we take the assessment?

Yes! The guidelines for care of children in the prehospital arena apply to all services that respond to public 911 calls and provide medical care, including both transporting and non-transporting services.

How is the assessment being administered?

The assessment is being administered by the EMS for Children program through a secure web-based system at www.emspedsready.org.

What is the assessment measuring?

The assessment provides a basic indicator of an EMS/fire-rescue agency’s capacity to treat pediatric patients. It includes questions that address the following areas in the technical report, which are supported by the joint policy statement.

  • Education and Competencies
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Patient and Medication Safety
  • Patient- and Family-Centered Care
  • Policies, Procedures and Protocols
  • Quality/Performance Improvement
  • Interactions with Systems of Care

How does the assessment define children in terms of age?

The assessment does not define the age range for pediatric patients. Instead, agencies are directed to use their own definition. 

Will my agency receive feedback upon completing the assessment?

Yes. Each agency that completes the assessment will receive immediate feedback in the form of a gap report. This report highlights a Pediatric Readiness Score based on a scale of 0-100. It also provides comparisons to the average score of others who have completed the assessment, and it outlines an agency’s strengths and opportunities for improvement in the various categories of readiness.

What are 'importance statements' shown on the gap report?

The purpose of importance statements shown in the gap report is to provide additional context to the importance of specific pediatric readiness categories as outlined in the technical report

When a pediatric readiness measure is not met on the assessment, corresponding ‘importance statements’ appear on a gap report to educate the respondent about the measure and highlight opportunities for improvement for their agency. If a pediatric readiness measure is met, an importance statement will not appear on the gap report. 

What if I start taking the PPRP assessment but can’t complete it?

That is perfectly okay. If you cannot finish the assessment in one sitting, you will be able to save your responses from any page by clicking on the “Save and Exit” button. This will take you to a page where you must supply your email address to receive an email with a link to your saved assessment. When you are ready to resume the assessment, use the web address from the email message and you will be directed to the page of the assessment where you exited.

What resources are available to improve an agency’s readiness score?

We encourage assessment respondents to share their gap report with their agency’s leadership to discuss quality improvement opportunities. You can also access the Prehospital Pediatric Readiness Toolkit, a collection of resources, promising practices, and articles specifically designed to improve pediatric readiness in the prehospital arena.

Find answers to specific questions in the Prehospital Pediatric Readiness Assessment.

In response to questions 7, 9, and 11 (how often we do different types of skills testing), should we answer what our agency requires or what the state requires?

You should base your answer the frequency based on what your agency requires. If your agency does not have a requirement, answer based on what the state requires. If the state does not have a requirement, choose "less frequently than once every 2 years"

In questions 13–22, you ask which specific skills are tested, but our agency employs different levels of providers, and not all skills can be performed at each level. How do we answer these questions if we have a mix of EMS clinician levels?

If your EMS agency has multiple levels of EMS professionals, answer the questions based on the skills that are tested for the highest level of providers.

In questions 39, 41, & 43 what would be considered "Other Pediatric Classes"?

This category could be other card classes, structured training programs/conferences, or internal/external pediatric continuing education offerings.

In question 37, you ask about the number of EMS provider hours our agency requires for different levels of EMS clinicians. How do we answer if our agency and the state have different requirements?

If both the EMS agency and state require a specific number of hours, choose the number that is highest.

In questions 44–51 you ask about behavioral health trainings/education our agency may do. Are you asking if we use these during behavioral health emergencies or if we have these trainings in general?

These questions are not specific to behavioral emergencies. These are questions about education of EMS clinicians' behavioral skills in any patient-facing interaction.

For inspection and verification of equipment in question 53, is there a specific group or entity that has to do the inspection for us to be able to answer “yes” to this question?

The periodic inspection can be done either internally by EMS agency personnel or by an entity external to the EMS agency (e.g., a state inspection process).

For questions 54–63, our agency works with hospitals to develop policies for our local EMS crews, but we do not develop protocols-that is done at the state level. Can we still answer “yes”?

If your agency engages with hospitals to help develop either policies or protocols that address pediatric care in your area, you can answer “yes".

In questions 93 and 94, are you asking if our pediatric emergency care coordinator (PECC) is performing these tasks at the agency or State level?

These questions ask about the PECC's role in protocol development and adherence at a local, regional, and/or state level, regardless of whether the protocol was created by the state or the agency.

For questions 156–163, can you clarify if you are asking if we have 24/7 access to a physician with pediatric emergency care expertise with each type of training? Or just in general?

For these questions, we are trying to evaluate how many agencies can access a physicians 24 hours a day for immediate medical consultation on pediatric cases, and if so, what types of training that physician has. If you do not have a physician accessible 24/7, you can answer “no”. If you have a mix of physicians available (medical director, physicians at a regional pediatric center, etc.), you can answer the subsequent question according to the training of all that are available to you. If you do not know the answer to the type of training, you should pick "unknown" for questions 157–161.

Can you clarify some of the wording in question 190? What do you mean by “gender”, “age distribution”, and “priority level”?

For “gender”, we are asking the gender the patient prefers and identifies with. For “age distribution” we are asking if you collect age or age grouping on each patient (e.g., age 0-1 years, age 2-4 years, etc.). Priority level refers a classification of overall condition and/or criticality, either determined by the EMS clinician or the dispatcher.