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From 2013 to 2021, there was improvement in almost all domains of readiness of U.S. emergency departments to care for children, according to a study published online July 7 in JAMA Network Open.
Katherine E. Remick, M.D., from the University of Texas at Austin, soma banerjee delhi and colleagues completed a third assessment of pediatric readiness of U.S. emergency departments during the COVID-19 pandemic to examine changes in pediatric readiness from 2013 to 2021 and evaluated factors associated with readiness. The analysis included 3,557 responses to a 92-question web-based open assessment of emergency department leadership in U.S. hospitals.
The researchers found that the median weighted pediatric readiness score (WPRS) was 69.5. Comparing common data elements from the assessments conducted in 2013 and 2021 demonstrated a reduction in median WPRS from 72.1 to 70.5, respectively, but improvement was noted across all domains of readiness except in the administration and coordination domain, which had a significant decrease.
Across all pediatric volume categories, the presence of a pediatric emergency care coordinator (PECC) correlated with a higher adjusted median WPRS compared with no PECC (90.5 versus 74.2). A full pediatric quality improvement plan versus no plan and staffing with board-certified emergency medicine and/or pediatric emergency medicine physicians versus none were also associated with higher pediatric readiness (adjusted median WPRS: 89.8 versus 65.1 and 71.5 versus 62.0, respectively).
“These data represent an updated report of the state of pediatric readiness in our nation’s emergency departments during a global pandemic and demonstrate high engagement of emergency department leadership,” the authors write.
Katherine E. Remick et al, National Assessment of Pediatric Readiness of US Emergency Departments During the COVID-19 Pandemic, JAMA Network Open (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.21707
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