Improve pediatric readiness in prehospital systems
The prehospital-based performance measures focus on:
- improving pediatric readiness in prehospital systems by establishing a standardized pediatric readiness recognition program for prehospital agencies,
- increasing the number of prehospital agencies with a pediatric emergency care coordinator (PECC),
- increasing the number of prehospital agencies that have a process for pediatric skills-checking on the use of pediatric equipment, and
- increasing pediatric disaster readiness in prehospital agencies by ensuring that disaster plans address the needs of children.
We know that approximately 80% of prehospital agencies see fewer than 8 pediatric patients per month (1), which makes it challenging for prehospital clinicians to develop and maintain pediatric care competencies (2). Additionally, pediatric patients often provoke discomfort and anxiety among prehospital personnel (2). These measures will help ensure that essential pediatric resources (including disaster planning), pediatric-trained personnel, and pediatric protocols are available to prehospital agencies. Ensuring these resources are in place will help clinicians build confidence and skills in treating pediatric patients.
2.1 Pediatric Readiness Recognition
Program Goal: To increase the percent of prehospital EMS agencies recognized through a statewide, territorial, or regional standardized pediatric readiness program that can stabilize and/or manage pediatric emergencies.
Resources from established recognition programs. Fact sheets, websites, and downloadable materials developed by states with recognition programs.
- Pediatric Readiness in Emergency Medical Services Systems (Joint Policy Statement) It is important to read this foundational document on which the National Prehospital Pediatric Readiness Project (PPRP) is based—your prehospital recognition program should align with this policy statement and corresponding Technical Report.
2.2 Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinators
Program Goal: To increase the percent of prehospital EMS agencies in the state that have a designated individual(s) who coordinates pediatric emergency care.
- Watch past PECC Community of Practice webinars to learn from others who are working to establish PECCs in their states.
- NEMSAC Advisory: Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator (PECC) for Emergency Medical Services (2020)
- Efficacy of Statewide Workshops in Implementing Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator in EMS Agencies (2020)
- NASEMSO Resolution: Support for Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinators in Emergency Medical Service Agencies (2019)
- NAEMSP Resource Document: Coordination of Pediatric Emergency Care in EMS Systems (2017)
- Emergency Care for Children: Growing Pains (Institute of Medicine, 2007) Various sections of the report reference prehospital pediatric coordination of care.
2.3 Use of Pediatric-Specific Equipment
Program Goal: To increase the percent of prehospital EMS agencies in the state that have a process that requires prehospital practitioners to physically demonstrate the correct use of pediatric-specific equipment.
2.4 Disaster Plan Resources
Program Goal: To increase the percent of prehospital EMS agencies that have a disaster plan addressing the needs of children.
- Lead by example–ensure that pediatrics are incorporated into your state disaster plan; use the NASEMSO Pediatric Emergency Care Council’s Checklist Tool for Pediatric Disaster Preparedness, A tool for State EMS Offices (2014)
- Connect with your state/territory Family-to-Family Health Information Center–find out how they can support your work
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(2) Hewes HA, Ely M, Richards R, et al. Ready for Children: Assessing Pediatric Care Coordination and Psychomotor Skills Evaluation in the Prehospital Setting. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2019 Jul-Aug;23(4):510-518.