A Collaborative In Situ Simulation-based Pediatric Readiness Improvement Program for Community Emergency Departments

Kamal Abulebda, Riad Lutfi, Travis Whitfill, Samer Abu-Sultaneh, Kellie J. Leeper, Elizabeth Weinstein, Marc A. Auerbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Background: More than 30 million children are cared for across 5,000 U.S. emergency departments (EDs) each year. Most of these EDs are not facilities designed and operated solely for children. A Web-based survey provided a national and state-by-state assessment of pediatric readiness and noted a national average score was 69 on a 100-point scale. This survey noted wide variations in ED readiness with scores ranging from 61 in low-pediatric-volume EDs to 90 in the high-pediatric-volume EDs. Additionally, the mean score at the state level ranged from 57 (Wyoming) to 83 (Florida) and for individual EDs ranged from 22 to 100. The majority of prior efforts made to improve pediatric readiness have involved providing Web-based resources and online toolkits. This article reports on the first year of a program that aimed to improve pediatric readiness across community hospitals in our state through in situ simulation-based assessment facilitated by our academic medical center. The primary aim was to improve the pediatric readiness scores in the 10 participating hospitals. The secondary aim was to explore the correlation of simulation-based performance of hospital teams with pediatric readiness scores. Methods: This interventional study measured the Pediatric Readiness Survey (PRS) prior to and after implementation of an improvement program. This program consisted of three components: 1) in situ simulations, 2) report-outs, and 3) access to online pediatric readiness resources and content experts. The simulations were conducted in situ (in the ED resuscitation bay) by multiprofessional teams of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and technicians. Simulations and debriefings were facilitated by an expert team from a pediatric academic medical center. Three scenarios were conducted for all teams and include: a 6-month-old with respiratory failure, an 8-year-old with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and a 6-month-old with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). A performance score was calculated for each scenario. The improvement of PRS was compared before and after the simulation program. The correlation of the simulation performance of each hospital and the PRS was calculated. Results: Forty-one multiprofessional teams from 10 EDs in Indiana participated in the study, five were of medium pediatric volume and five were medium- to high-volume EDs. The PRS significantly improved from the first to the second on-site verification assessment (58.4 ± 4.8 to 74.7 ± 2.9, p = 0.009). Total adherence scores to scenario guidelines were 54.7, 56.4, and 62.4% in the respiratory failure, DKA, and SVT scenarios, respectively. We found no correlation between simulation performance and PRS scores. Medium ED pediatric volume significantly predicted higher PRS scores compared to medium-high pediatric ED volume (β = 8.7; confidence interval = 0.72–16.8, p = 0.034). Conclusions: Our collaborative improvement program that involved simulation was associated with improvement in pediatric readiness scores in 10 EDs participating statewide. Future work will focus on further expanding of the network and establishing a national model for pediatric readiness improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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