Inter Facility Transfer is Key to Pediatric Readiness in the Emergency Department
About the Tool Kit
In trauma care, the ability to provide the right care at the right time to the right patient is paramount to success. Experts agree that preparedness is not only measured by knowing what your facility can handle, but also the presence of a coordinated plan for patients who require care outside the scope of your hospitals’ capabilities. In short, inter facility transfer plans are an essential element of readiness.
This is particularly true for the care of children in emergency and trauma situations. Critically ill and injured children often require specialty resources not readily available at local emergency departments but may not have the physiological reserve to withstand long delays that can accompany transfer to appropriate resources. Ensuring inter facility transfer processes are in place, inclusive of transfer agreements and guidelines, is an essential component to ensuring children are able to access the right care at the right place in a timely manner.
Pediatric health care stakeholders and advocates have been actively pursuing knowledge about the readiness of emergency departments nationwide to care for children. The National Pediatric Readiness Project is the first national assessment of pediatric readiness in EDs across the United States. EDs are invited to participate in a web based assessment and immediately after completion, they receive a pediatric readiness score and a gap analysis that offers an in depth report on areas that require attention to increase readiness.
Additionally, a toolkit of resources has been developed and organized into topic areas presented in the national guidelines and the assessment to help EDs improve pediatric readiness. Among the resources is the inter facility transfer toolkit, a 40+ page compilation designed to guide facilities through the development of an organized inter facility process. A comprehensive compendium of materials applicable to any facility, large or small, rural or urban, the toolkit includes sample policies, guidelines, checklists and memorandum of understanding (MOU) as well as journal articles, case studies, and state legislation on inter facility agreements.
An inter-disciplinary team of pediatric and trauma experts assisted in the development of the inter facility toolkit. Five members of the Society for Trauma Nurses (STN) were essential to the toolkit’s development. Whether used as a stand-alone reference to develop an inter facility transfer program, or as an element in a larger quality improvement program aimed at improving pediatric readiness, the inter facility toolkit is an available to all of America’s EDs as they strive to improve their ability to care for all children and prepare to move injured children safely and expeditiously to appropriate pediatric trauma care.
Download the Tool-Kit