Emergency Departments and Pediatric Categorization, Approval, and Recognition: A Review of Two States

      Pediatric patients account for approximately 30 million U.S. ED visits, yet many emergency departments are unprepared to manage ill or injured children.

      Public Health Service. Availability of pediatric services and equipment in emergency departments: United States, 2002-2003 (Advance Data 367; PHS 2006-1250). Washington: Public Health Service.

      In the 1980s, Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC), a federally sponsored program jointly administered through the Maternal & Child Health Bureau and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, began providing grant funding to support pediatric emergency care initiatives at the state and local levels.
      Emergency Medical Services for Children
      Two states, Illinois and Tennessee, have received funding for EMSC projects for many years. These programs each recognized the need for oversight to ensure that hospital emergency departments were prepared to care for pediatric patients. Utilizing professional standards developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and ENA, each state facilitated multidisciplinary consensus meetings that included consumers to develop facility categorization and approval and recognition programs that recommend, monitor, and applaud best practices for the care of children requiring emergency care. Both states include a site survey process to evaluate compliance with key criteria that include clinician qualifications and continuing education; policies, procedures, and treatment protocols; quality improvement; and equipment, supplies, and medications. The 2 states differ in their approach to the process; Tennessee’s program is grounded in legislative authority, while Illinois’ program is based on voluntary application, with oversight through state regulations.
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      References

      1. Public Health Service. Availability of pediatric services and equipment in emergency departments: United States, 2002-2003 (Advance Data 367; PHS 2006-1250). Washington: Public Health Service.

        • Emergency Medical Services for Children
        (Available at:) (Accessed March 5, 2008)
      2. Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for Children, 2007.
        (Available at:) (Accessed March 5, 2008)
      3. Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children, 2007.
        (Available at:) (Accessed March 5, 2008)

      Biography

      Susan M. Hohenhaus is President, Hohenhaus & Associates, Inc, Wellsboro, Pa.

      Biography

      Evelyn Lyons is EMSC Manager, Division of EMS & Highway Safety, Illinois Department of Public Health, Chicago, Ill.

      Biography

      Rhonda G. Phillippi is Executive Director, TN Emergency Medical Services for Children, Nashville, Tenn.