California Hospital Leads in Establishing Pediatric Emergency Standards
Physicians and researchers are using a model developed at County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to create standards for pediatric care in hospital emergency departments across the U.S., the Torrance Daily Breeze reports. Â
Such standards have been adopted by a network of 42 hospitals certified under Los Angeles County's Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics program.
Lack of Nationwide Standards
Children account for about 20% of all ED visits in the U.S. each year, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians.
However, physicians say nearly one in five hospitals do not have the appropriate equipment to deal with pediatric emergencies.
In addition, there is no nationwide system of standards for pediatric emergency care, and participation in certification programs remains voluntary.
Certification Under L.A. County Program
Receiving certification under Los Angeles County's pediatric program costs about $1,000, according to officials. The certification standards require hospitals to:
- AcquireÂ the correct equipment for treating children;
- Ensure the presence of an on-call or on-site pediatric specialist 24 hours per day;
- Mandate that at least one nurse per shift and 75% of all registered nurses have training in pediatric medicine; and
- Provide training to physicians and nurses on the proper administration of medications for childrenÂ (Evans, Torrance Daily Breeze, 8/1).