Emergency Medical Services for Children

Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report "Emergency Care for Children: Growing Pains" recommends that EMS agencies and emergency departments (EDs) appoint a pediatric emergency care coordinator (PECC) to provide pediatric leadership for the organization. This individual need not be dedicated solely to this role and could be personnel already in place with a special interest in children who assumes this role as part of their existing duties.

Gausche-Hill et al. in a national study of EDs found that the presence of a physician or nurse PECC was associated with an ED being more prepared to care for children. EDs with a coordinator were more likely to report having important policies in place and a quality improvement plan that addressed the needs of children than EDs that reported not having a coordinator.

The IOM report further states that pediatric coordinators are necessary to advocate for improved competencies and the availability of resources for pediatric patients. The presence of an individual who coordinates pediatric emergency care at EMS agencies may result in ensuring that the agency and its providers are more prepared to care for ill and injured children.

PECC as Performance Measure

The EMS for Children Program has established a pre-hospital PECC as a Performance Measure for the EMSC Partnership Grant. All states and territories receiving a grant are required to increase the percentage of EMS agencies that have a PECC. The goal is for 90% of EMS agencies to have a designated individual who coordinates pediatric emergency care by 2026.

In order to encourage participation and to increase awareness of the concept, the Ohio EMS for Children Program held workshops in 2017 and 2018 across the state. Almost 200 pre-hospital providers attended seven workshops, where they were able to share best practices and discuss improving pediatrics through skill training, protocol development, and quality improvement.

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