Raising the Bar: Accelerating State Pediatric Readiness Recognition Programs, Nationwide

  • Published July 5, 2023
MO peds ready

State programs that recognize emergency departments (EDs) and EMS agencies for achieving certain standards of high-quality pediatric emergency care are an important driver of improved pediatric readiness. As of April 2023, all EMSC State Partnership Programs are now required to work toward establishing recognition programs.

“The goal of recognition programs is to help EDs and EMS agencies understand their capability to stabilize and manage pediatric emergencies and to ensure children are transported to EDs with appropriate resources,” says Kate Remick, MD, Co-Director of the EMSC Innovation & Improvement Center and Co-Lead of the National Pediatric Readiness Project. “Ultimately, these programs help create more organized, coordinated systems of emergency care that are prepared for children's unique needs.”

Criteria for the state programs should be based on evidence-based criteria for pediatric readiness in EDs and EMS agencies, the same guidelines that form the basis of the NPRP (for EDs) and the National Prehospital Pediatric Readiness Project (PPRP) (for EMS agencies).

Exact frameworks vary based on the state – for example, one state might have two tiers of recognition while another may have several.

QI Collaborative Launching in September

To help support states in establishing programs, the EMSC Innovation & Improvement Center is launching a Pediatric Readiness Recognition Program Collaborative for State Partnership Programs in September. Using quality improvement science and learning from peers, the 10-month collaborative will help states without programs develop them and support states with existing programs in accelerating their work.

“ED and EMS agency recognition programs help increase the awareness of pediatric readiness guidelines and criteria,” says Morgan Scaggs, BHS, NRP, Health Program Administrator for Kentucky EMSC. “Each year, we field questions from hospitals and EMS agencies about how they can improve their pediatric care and be recognized for their efforts. In developing these programs, State Partnership Programs can review work done by colleagues in other states and learn from it. This is extremely valuable. I believe participation in the upcoming collaborative will help us fine-tune our existing programs and ensure that we remain in line with evidence-based criteria.”

The aim of the collaborative is to increase the number of states/territories developing new ED and/or EMS recognition programs to 59% and 21%, respectively; while working with all participating states/territories to incorporate key readiness criteria and support the expansion of their recognition programs.

To learn about your state’s efforts to establish a program or how to get involved in an existing program, contact the EMSC State Partnership Program manager using the EMSC database. Or, learn more about the National Pediatric Readiness Project (NPRP) and/or the National Prehospital Pediatric Readiness Project (PPRP).

Photo Credit: Missouri EMSC celebrates Southeast Hospital, the first hospital in the state recognized as being pediatric ready.