Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services for Children’s (WI EMSC) Pediatric Readiness Program is focused on improving pediatric emergency care in community emergency departments (EDs). The goal of the program is to provide more equitable access to quality pediatric emergency care statewide. In Wisconsin, almost 50% of children live more than one hour from a specialized pediatric EDs, so their care relies on community EDs.

To better serve the pediatric patients in their communities, 12 EDs across Wisconsin participated in the first cohort of the Pediatric Readiness Program.

Cohort 1 EDs

  • Aspirus – Rhinelander (St. Mary’s)
  • Aurora – Oshkosh
  • Aurora – Summit
  • Froedtert – Menomonee Falls
  • Froedtert – West Bend    G
  • Grant Regional Health Center
  • HSHS – St. Vincent Hospital
  • Prairie Ridge Health
  • River Falls Area Hospital
  • SSM Health Ripon Community Hospital
  • St. Croix Regional Medical Center
  • Tomah Health

Cohort 1 saw big strides for small patients
Each of the 12 participating EDs developed individualized improvement plans. This allowed them to address specific needs and make targeted changes that would have the greatest impact on their departments pediatric care capabilities. Throughout this process, the National Pediatric Readiness Project (NPRP) assessment served as a valuable benchmark. This comprehensive assessment evaluates various aspects of pediatric readiness, from equipment availability to staff training and protocols.

The results from Cohort 1 are nothing short of impressive. After implementing their improvement plans and retaking the NPRP assessment, the first cohort of EDs saw an average improvement of 22.71 points on the NPRP, which is scored out of 100. This substantial jump signifies a major leap forward in their ability to provide high-quality care for children.

Some of the most noteworthy changes were the implementation of Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinators (PECCs) in the EDs.  PECCs are nurse or physician staff members who take on additional responsibilities to ensure a department is maintaining pediatric elements of emergency care. Having a dedicated PECC is a strong pediatric readiness indicator. In Cohort 1, eight organizations were able to add a nurse PECC and five added a physician PECC.

How can you make sure your ED is pediatric ready?

  1. Identify a PECC: Find an interested nurse and/or physician in your organization who is interested in serving as a PECC. Check out our PECC Resources and fill out the ED PECC Commitment Form.
  2. Take a look at EMSC resources: The Wisconsin EMSC webpage has many resources to help your department become more prepared for pediatric patients.
  3. Take the NPRP assessment: If your site hasn’t taken the NPRP assessment, connect with your PECCs, ED manager or trauma coordinator, and take the assessment (you can take the assessment an unlimited amount of times, as it is not currently in a data collection cycle).
  4. Connect with us: If you have any questions on pediatric readiness email EMSC Program Leader, Carissa Brunner, MPH, CLC.

Written by:
Carissa Brunner, MPH, CLC
Program Leader, Emergency Medical Services for Children