Category Archives: Policy & Advocacy

Stay abreast of the most up to date policies and advocacy topics in Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

Summertime, and the Kids are Hungry

Author: Danielle L Cullen MD, MPH – Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

One in five children in the US do not get the food that they need on a daily basis to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. How is it that in a country of wealth and excess, children’s basic needs for life are not being met?

During the academic year, 21.5 million children receive and rely on free and reduced priced school breakfast and lunch as their primary source of nutrition. While summer should be a carefree time of outdoor play, with the absence of school food programs, it is instead too often a time of hunger. Federal Summer Nutrition Programs through the USDA provide meals to children during the summer months. Unfortunately, due to lack of awareness of these programs, they are severely underutilized. Only one in seven children who receive free or reduced-price school meals also participate in summer meal programs.(1) read more

WEIGHING CHILDREN IN KILOGRAMS FOCUS OF NEW PEDIATRIC READINESS INFOGRAPHIC

Author: Kathleen Brown, MD – Children’s National Health System

The Federal Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program recently released an infographic based on data from the National Pediatric Readiness Project assessment. The infographic states the importance of weighing children and recording the weight in kilograms, based on a patient safety recommendation from the “Guidelines for Care of Children in the Emergency Department.1

In its report Emergency Care for Children: Growing Pains, the Institute of Medicine also highlighted the need for physicians and other practitioners to weigh children and to record the weight in kilograms only.2 However, the Pediatric Readiness assessment revealed that half the hospitals in the nation do not weigh and record in kilograms. This simple patient safely initiative has been recognized as one of the most important to prevent drug-dosing errors and is one of the top 15 national hospital-based pediatric emergency care performance measures.3 read more

PEDIATRIC READINESS PARTNERS FOCUS ON RESOURCES TO HELP HOSPITALS ADDRESS “AREAS OF NEED” IDENTIFIED BY NATIONAL ASSESSMENT RESULTS

Author: Kathleen Brown, MD – Children’s National Health System

In April 2015, the first manuscript addressing key findings from the 2013-14 National Pediatric Readiness (Peds Ready) assessment was published online in JAMA Pediatrics. A few important data points highlighted in the article included:

  • The presence of a physician and nurse pediatric emergency care coordinator (PECC) was associated with a higher adjusted median Pediatric Readiness score compare with no PECC.
  • Only 47% of responding facilities had included pediatric specific considerations into their hospital disaster plans. Even those facilities where children are frequently cared for had opportunities to improve their disaster preparedness.
  • Only 45% of hospital emergency departments (ED) reported having a pediatric care review process and only 58% of respondents had defined pediatric quality indicators.

According to the JAMA article by Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD, “The presence of physician and nurse PECCs was associated with a higher adjusted median pediatric readiness scores (82.2) compared with no PECC (66.5) across all pediatric volume categories. The presence of PECCs increased the likelihood of having all the recommended components, including a pediatric quality improvement process.” read more

PEDIATRIC READINESS ASSESSMENT PORTAL REOPENS

Author: Kathleen Brown, MD – Children’s National Health System

The National Pediatric Readiness (Peds Ready) assessment portal has reopened! Recall that the electronic assessment was first released in late 2013 and sent to approximately 5,000 emergency departments (ED) within the U.S. and its territories. An overwhelming 82% of America’s hospitals participated in the Peds Ready online assessment.

Since its reopening on November 1, 2015, more than 175 hospitals have participated in the reassessment. Many who took the assessment in 2013 are completing the reassessment to measure their progress in becoming ready for children. Other hospitals have joined this important initiative for the first time. read more

Pediatric Readiness Partners Move Forward with Phase II Activities

Author: Kathleen Brown, MD – Children’s National Health System

Representatives from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), and the Emergency Nurse Association (ENA) have launched new initiatives to help facilitate pediatric emergency department (ED) readiness. Their efforts will support and strengthen national and state activities of the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program, which are moving full speed ahead based on recent data analysis from the 2013 National Pediatric Readiness (Peds Ready) Project assessment. read more