We perform a needs assessment of pediatric readiness, using a novel scoring system in California emergency departments (EDs), and determine the effect of pediatric verification processes on pediatric readiness.Methods:
ED nurse managers from all 335 acute care hospital EDs in California were sent a 60-question Web-based assessment. A weighted pediatric readiness score (WPRS), using a 100-point scale, and gap analysis were calculated for each participating ED.Results:
Nurse managers from 90% (300/335) of EDs completed the Web-based assessment, including 51 pediatric verified EDs, 67 designated trauma centers, and 31 EDs assessed for pediatric capabilities. Most pediatric visits (87%) occurred in nonchildren’s hospitals. The overall median WPRS was 69 (interquartile ratio [IQR] 57.7, 85.9). Pediatric verified EDs had a higher WPRS (89.6; IQR 84.1, 94.1) compared with nonverified EDs (65.5; IQR 55.5, 76.3) and EDs assessed for pediatric capabilities (70.7; IQR 57.4, 88.9). When verification status and ED volume were controlled for, trauma center designation was not predictive of an increase in the WPRS. Forty-three percent of EDs reported the presence of a quality improvement plan that included pediatric elements, and 53% reported a pediatric emergency care coordinator. When coordinator and quality improvement plan were controlled for, the presence of at least 1 pediatric emergency care coordinator was associated with a higher WPRS (85; IQR 75, 93.1) versus EDs without a coordinator (58; IQR 50.1, 66.9), and the presence of a quality improvement plan was associated with a higher WPRS (88; IQR 76.7, 95) compared with that of hospitals without a plan (62; IQR 51.2, 68.7). Of pediatric verified EDs, 92% had a quality improvement plan for pediatric emergency care and 96% had a pediatric emergency care coordinator.Conclusion:
We report on the first comprehensive statewide assessment of “pediatric readiness” in EDs according to the 2009 “Guidelines for Care of Children in the Emergency Department.” The presence of a pediatric readiness verification process, pediatric emergency care coordinator, and quality improvement plan for pediatric emergency care was associated with higher levels of pediatric readiness.