New pediatric emergency care system will help thousands
Each year, more than 15,000 patients ages 15 and under seek treatment at Christiana Care’s Emergency Department facilities at Christiana and Wilmington hospitals. Now, through a new network, the hospital emergency departments will be able to save the lives of even more children.
Overall death rates through the Delaware Trauma System—a network of the Delaware Division of Public Health—have been cut by 40 percent, thanks to the efforts of emergency department health care staff at those hospitals.
Delaware recently launched a Pediatric Emergency Care Facility Recognition Program and became only the fifth state to create a standard of care that includes equipment, protocols, staffing and continuing education.
The system has three levels:
- Christiana Hospital is designated as a Level 2 pediatric center, meaning it can provide inpatient pediatric care as well as critical care.
- Wilmington Hospital is designated a Level 3 center because it has the personnel and resources to treat pediatric patients for a range emergency care services, including the ability to stabilize and transfer pediatric patients for more intensive services.
- Only children’s hospitals, such as Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, qualify for Level 1 status.
“We know from experience when a state or region organizes a system of care, benefits follow” says state Trauma System Coordinator Mary Sue Jones, RN, MS. “A standard system results in smoother communication between hospitals for ease of transfer and consistency of care.”
Emergency Medicine Department physician Christopher Moen, M.D., represents Christiana Care Health System on the state subcommittee and helped develop the new standards for the pediatric system. Delaware will be part of a study on how effective the new system will be. That study could help other states model similar initiatives.
Nursing leaders from Christiana Care’s Emergency Department also played a key role in assuring facility readiness.