Pediatric readiness in EDs improves short- and long-term survival

  • Published January 31, 2023
GettyImages-154947861 sm.jpg

A new, landmark study has found that emergency departments (EDs) being well-prepared to care for their pediatric patients – also known as being “pediatric ready” – resulted in 60-76 percent lower short-term mortality and 41-66 percent lower long-term mortality.

In fact, the study results suggest that if all EDs in the United States were well-prepared for pediatric cases as defined by national guidelines, up to 1,400 children’s deaths could be prevented each year.

“To our knowledge, this study is the largest and most comprehensive evaluation of ED pediatric readiness to date, with major health policy implications,” wrote Craig Newgard, MD, MPH, and the study co-authors.

Prior research has shown the benefit of pediatric readiness on mortality rates, but was limited to children with critical illness and traumatic injury. This new study demonstrates that pediatric readiness improves mortality for all hospitalized children, across a variety of settings, and in the long-term (over one year).

The study, which is based on National Pediatric Readiness Project 2013-2014 assessment data, was published Jan. 13 in JAMA Network Open. The research was funded through the EMSC Program Targeted Issues Grants and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Read an NIH media advisory here or learn more about pediatric readiness here.

Data from the 2021 National Pediatric Readiness Project assessment is anticipated to be published later this spring.