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Improvement Seen in the Pediatric Readiness of ERs

Median weighted pediatric readiness score 68.9, with increase by pediatric patient volume

MONDAY, April 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The pediatric readiness of U.S. emergency departments has improved, according to research published online April 13 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Marianne Gausche-Hill, M.D., from Harbor-University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a web-based assessment of U.S. emergency departments for pediatric readiness based on compliance with the 2009 guidelines for care of children. A 55-question assessment was sent to 5,017 emergency department nurse managers, of whom 82.7 percent responded, representing 24 million annual pediatric emergency department visits.

The researchers found that 69.4 percent of emergency departments had low or medium pediatric volume and treated fewer than 14 children per day. The median weighted pediatric readiness score (WPRS) was 68.9 and increased by pediatric patient volume (61.4 for low-pediatric-volume emergency departments; 89.8 for high-pediatric-volume emergency departments; P < 0.001). Overall, emergency departments had a median of 91 percent of recommended pediatric equipment available. Across all pediatric volume categories, physician/nurse pediatric emergency care coordinators (PECCs) correlated with higher adjusted median WPRS versus no PECC (82.2 versus 66.5; P < 0.001). The likelihood of having all the recommended components, including a pediatric quality improvement process, was associated with the presence of PECCs (adjusted relative risk, 4.11). Overall, 80.8 percent of responding emergency departments reported barriers to guideline improvement.

“These data demonstrate improvement in pediatric readiness of emergency departments compared with previous reports,” the authors write.

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