Emergency Department (ED) Readiness

Click here to access the Peds Ready website

The EMSC National Resource Center (NRC) is working with the federal EMSC Program, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Emergency Nurses Association, on an ongoing quality improvement (QI) project designed to promote the optimal care of children in all EDs. Known as the National Pediatric Readiness Project (Peds Ready), this QI initiative began with a nationwide assessment of all EDs and their readiness to care for children based on the 2009 Guidelines for the Treatment of Children in the Emergency Department (or National Guidelines).1,2

Immediately upon completing the assessment, facilities were given a pediatric readiness score and a gap analysis. The score represents the essential components needed to establish a foundation for pediatric readiness and is based on the six topic areas within the National Guidelines:

  • Administration and Coordination

  • Physicians, Nursing, and Other Health Care Providers Who Staff the ED

  • Quality Improvement-Performance Improvement in the ED

  • Improving Pediatric Patient Safety

  • Policies, Procedures, and Protocols

  • Equipment, Supplies, and Medications.

The gap analysis is an in-depth review of some of the areas that require improvement to increase pediatric readiness. Topic areas in the gap analysis mirror the six topics in the National Guidelines. A comprehensive on-line toolkit, also organized using the six topic areas, was developed to assist facilities with QI initiatives focused on pediatric readiness. By using the gap analysis, each facility can easily locate resources in the toolkit to address areas of concern. The toolkit includes sample policies, job descriptions, checklists, worksheets, and equipment lists.

The project’s assessment phase was completed in August 2013. More than 4,000 EDs participated, yielding a response rate of 82.7%.

The project's phase two activities are currently underway. While a detailed analysis of Peds Ready data is still underway, work has already begun to identify some specific areas for targeted resource development and dissemination. The immediate focus is on resources that target a known readiness gap and can be quickly put in place, such as hospital disaster plans that incorporate children. More extensive QI projects will be developed based on the assessment data. 

For more information about the National Pediatric Readiness Project, visit the Peds Ready website


1Pediatrics, Vol. 124 No. 4, October 2009, pp. 1233-1243

2Annals of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 54 No. 4, October 2009, pp.543-552