August 05, 2013
Specific measures ensure that every emergency department is kid-ready
Richmond, VA, Aug. 5, 2013 — HCA Virginia recently completed a multi-phase quality improvement initiative to ensure that its emergency departments are fully prepared to provide effective care for children.
Known as the National Pediatric Readiness Project under the Emergency Medical Services for Children National Resource Center (NRC), it is the first national assessment of pediatric readiness in ED’s across the United States.
“By having a separate and dedicated pediatric ER, we are able to provide specific equipment, supplies and medications for children, in a safe and caring atmosphere,” said Kevin Connelly, M.D., pediatric emergency medicine physician at Chippenham Hospital. “Through our ongoing quality improvement measures, HCA Virginia is a leader in the National Pediatric Readiness Project and continues to strive to provide the best care possible to children when they need it most.”
There are eight pediatric-ready ERs throughout central Virginia, including Chippenham Hospital’s pediatric-specific ER, which is staffed 24/7 by pediatric board certified physicians, pediatric trained nurses, and other health care providers, who have the necessary skills, knowledge and training in emergency evaluation and treatment of children of all ages.
HCA Virginia began the survey process in February 2012 with on site meetings followed by a confidential web-based assessment earlier this year, where the hospitals were able to bench mark their readiness against other facilities in Virginia and the United States with similar pediatric patient volumes.
HCA Virginia hospitals continued to work on key measures throughout the year addressing areas such as administration and coordination; physicians, nurses and other ED staff; quality improvement and performance improvement in the ED; pediatric patient safety; policies, procedures and protocols; and equipment, supplies and medication.
One of the safety measures HCA Virginia implemented earlier this year is the Artemis System – a tool that allows medical professionals to instantly access proper pediatric dosing in acute preparation and administration of drugs, reduce medical errors and standardizes pediatric dosing so that they can safely provide young patients with high quality emergency care.
“Compared to adults, pediatric emergency needs are unique,” said Sheldon Barr, vice president of emergency services. “In any emergency situation, we want parents to feel comfortable knowing that their children, even from the youngest age, are going to receive the highest level and quality of emergency care possible.”
After completing the assessment, the average pediatric readiness score among HCA Virginia Hospitals was 97. In the state of Virginia, a total of 90 out of 93 EDs participated in the survey, and the state median readiness score was 76 percent.
Each year in Richmond, HCA Virginia hospitals have about 63,000 total pediatric cases including inpatient, outpatient and ED visits. Of these cases, 1,000 are NICU cases, while 47,000 are visits to the ED.
The National Pediatric Readiness Project is a partnership between the federal Emergency Medical Services for Children Program, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Emergency Nurses Association. In addition, this project has received the support of such organizations as The Joint Commission and the Hospital Corporation of America.
The NRC was established in 1991 to help improve the pediatric emergency care infrastructure throughout the United States and its territories. The services the NRC provides are designed to proactively assist EMS for Children grantees, program partners and family advocates in their efforts to improve all aspects of children’s emergency medical care. For more information, visit http://www.childrensnational.org/EMSC/.