National Pediatric Readiness Project

The EMSC National Resource Center (NRC) is working with the federal EMSC Program, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Emergency Nurses Association, on an ongoing quality improvement (QI) project designed to promote the optimal care of children in all EDs. Known as the National Pediatric Readiness Project (Peds Ready), this QI initiative began with a nationwide assessment of all EDs and their readiness to care for children based on the 2009 Guidelines for the Treatment of Children in the Emergency Department (or National Guidelines).1,2

Immediately upon completing the assessment, facilities were given a pediatric readiness score and a gap analysis. The score represents the essential components needed to establish a foundation for pediatric readiness and is based on the six topic areas within the National Guidelines:

  • Administration and Coordination
  • Physicians, Nursing, and Other Health Care Providers Who Staff the ED
  • Quality Improvement-Performance Improvement in the ED
  • Improving Pediatric Patient Safety
  • Policies, Procedures, and Protocols
  • Equipment, Supplies, and Medications.

The gap analysis is an in-depth review of some of the areas that require improvement to increase pediatric readiness. Topic areas in the gap analysis mirror the six topics in the National Guidelines. A comprehensive on-line toolkit, also organized using the six topic areas, was developed to assist facilities with QI initiatives focused on pediatric readiness. By using the gap analysis, each facility can easily locate resources in the toolkit to address areas of concern. The toolkit includes sample policies, job descriptions, checklists, worksheets, and equipment lists.

The project’s assessment phase was completed in August 2013. More than 4,000 EDs participated, yielding a response rate of 82.7%. On April 13, 2015, the first manuscript addressing key findings from the assessment was published online in JAMA Pediatrics (see “National Assessment of Pediatric Readiness of Emergency Departments"). On November 1, 2015, the assessment portal reopened to allow those hospitals that completed the assessment in 2013 to reassess progress made in their readiness to care for children. Hospitals that did not participate in the 2013 assessment can participate in the 2015 reassessment.

The project's phase two activities are currently underway. Work has already begun to identify some specific areas for targeted resource development and dissemination. The immediate focus is on resources that target known readiness gap and can be quickly put in place, such as hospital disaster plans that incorporate children. For more information about Peds Ready, 2013 assessment findings, and resources targeting known readiness gaps, visit the Peds Ready website

  1. Pediatrics, Vol. 124 No. 4, October 2009, pp. 1233-1243
  2. Annals of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 54 No. 4, October 2009, pp.543-552