The pediatric surge this past fall has demonstrated that emergency departments (EDs) nationwide need to be prepared to treat patients of all ages, and that preparedness has been put front and center at Aurora Medical Center – Sheboygan County (AMCSC). AMCSC understands the vital role it plays in providing emergency care to its community, and has taken important steps to provide the best possible care for all of its patients, especially children.

“AMCSC actually sees the highest number of pediatric patients for an emergency department of its size,” says Dawn Tasche, a Registered Nurse in AMCSC’s ED. “Being able to provide quick, comprehensive pediatric care is a lifesaving need in the community, and AMCSC is striving to be as pediatric ready as possible.”

AMCSC’s dedication to pediatric readiness has had impressive outcomes, resulting in a high standard of pediatric care that has recently garnered statewide recognition for the hospital’s ED – making their ED the first in the state to be officially recognized by Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services for Children’s (WI EMSC) Pediatric Emergency Department Recognition Program. The program is dedicated to EDs statewide with high standards of pediatric emergency care, as defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Policy Statement, “Pediatric Readiness in the Emergency Department.”

“Striving to meet the high standards for pediatric emergency care recommended by the AAP has helped the team at AMCSC to provide better care with greater confidence,” says Nurse Tasche. “Knowing how to deliver the care is a crucial step, and our teammates have put in a tremendous amount of work on quality improvement projects aiming to provide that higher level of care to pediatric patients. This has benefited our teammates because they feel empowered to assess, treat and even communicate well with the pediatric population, which is not always the norm in emergency rooms.”

When asked what AMCSC does differently to help it maintain such high standards of pediatric emergency care, Tasche pointed to her ED’s collaborative, team-centered approach. “Leadership supports nursing participation and steering in regards to these programs, empowering teammates to participate and assist with making the changes in clinical care that provide these amazing outcomes. Our department continuously provides and empowers teammates to be well educated and informed on pediatric patients, and emergency department pediatric meetings are held regularly with an interdisciplinary team to make sure all aspects of pediatric care are collaborative.”

For Nurse Tasche at AMCSC, the recognition sends a message to her hospital’s community:

“The AMCSC ED prides itself on providing the best care to patients of all ages. This recognition won’t change that, but it will help our community be reassured that if the children in their life need emergent care, AMCSC will provide the best care possible and be the stepping stone to higher levels of care, if needed.”


EDs interested in participating in WI EMSC’s Pediatric Emergency Department Recognition Program

AMCSC is just one strong example of the high quality of pediatric emergency care Wisconsin hospitals can achieve. With more hospitals across the state making important strides in pediatric emergency care, WI EMSC encourages EDs statewide to apply to participate in the Pediatric Emergency Department Recognition Program.

Interested EDs can apply to participate in WI EMSC’s Pediatric Emergency Department Recognition Program at the bottom of this page. Any Wisconsin ED can qualify for recognition if it successfully meets the following criteria:

  • Has an administrator support letter
  • Achieved a minimum score of 80 out of 100 on the most recent Pediatric Readiness Assessment
  • Has a nurse Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator
  • Has a physician Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator
  • Has written pediatric interfacility transfer guidelines, which include the eight components identified in the Pediatric Readiness Assessment
  • Has written pediatric interfacility transfer agreements
  • Has a disaster plan which addresses pediatric patients, and includes the seven components identified in the Pediatric Readiness Assessment

How the Pediatric Emergency Department Recognition Program works

WI EMSC is eager to recognize EDs statewide that provide high-quality care to pediatric patients, and encourages Wisconsin EDs that meet these criteria to apply at the link above. Once your ED has applied:

  1. WI EMSC will work with you to arrange a site visit
  2. Once a time has been agreed upon, WI EMSC will send site visitors to your ED to evaluate it for the above criteria
  3. Once it has been determined that your ED meets the standards for recognition, WI EMSC will officially recognize your ED

A final congratulations

WI EMSC would like to congratulate AMCSC one more time on its dedication to providing pediatric emergency patients with a high standard of care. Dedication to quality care like AMCSC’s helps save more lives, and we hope that by recognizing their ED, we can spotlight them as an example for EDs statewide. WI EMSC looks forward to recognizing more Wisconsin EDs this year and continuing to highlight the great things our state’s hospitals are capable of achieving for pediatric patients.