Improving emergency care for children: a model of collaboration between emergency departments

Emerg Med Australas. Oct-Dec 2004;16(5-6):417-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-6723.2004.00667.x.


Objectives: To determine whether a partnership between a tertiary paediatric hospital and a hospital with a mixed population of children and adults can improve emergency care for children. To describe the process of creating and maintaining such a partnership.

Methods: A partnership was created and various strategies employed to improve emergency paediatric care. This was evaluated by examination of demographic data, clinical audit, patient satisfaction surveys and staff satisfaction surveys.

Results: Paediatric attendances increased by 12% (P = 0.001), with a 33% increase in children under the age of 5 years (P = 0.001). Despite this there was a reduction of 6% in inpatient paediatric bed usage. Staff decision making and documentation improved during paediatric patient care, and parent and staff satisfaction with care of children improved.

Conclusions: This initiative was successful in improving local paediatric facilities and patient care and is a new and innovative means of improving paediatric emergency care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Medical Audit
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pediatrics / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Victoria