Pediatric Readiness Quality Care Collaborative helps ensure high-quality care for children in Mile Bluff's ER

When it comes to spending time in the Emergency Department, children are often scared, unsure and stressed. If not trained for these situations, staff members caring for these young patients can feel these same emotions. That is why Mile Bluff Medical Center’s Emergency Department is proud to be a part of the Pediatric Readiness Quality Care Collaborative [PRQC].

Mile Bluff is one of only seven Wisconsin hospitals in the PRQC, a national quality improvement learning collaborative. The partnership is a two-year commitment in which emergency department staff members work with pediatric specialists from the Wisconsin EMS for Children Program. They work to implement hospital policies that will continually improve readiness to care for children in emergency situations.

“The special training and policy changes are crucial to caring for children,” stated Sharon Warden, MSN, MHA, RN, CNML, Mile Bluff’s Director of Emergency Services.

“Children don’t come into the Emergency Department as often as adults do, and when they do, children are different to care for,” explained Warden. “They are smaller, don’t always understand what is happening, and often have trouble sitting still when it’s necessary for care. And, unlike adults, what is considered ‘normal’ for vital signs and medication dosages can vary greatly among children.”

As a part of the PRQC, Mile Bluff took the national pediatric readiness assessment. The 57-question test assesses care administration and coordination, policies and procedures, pediatric patient safety, and more.

Warden commented, “Being a part of the PRQC has helped to further improve the quality of care we provide to children in Mile Bluff’s Emergency Department. After taking the assessment, we were able to see where we could be even better, and then were given the resources to do so.”

Some of the resources provided to PRQC hospitals include pediatric comfort kits, one-on-one coaching from pediatric specialists, policy and care guidelines, virtual learning sessions, quality improvement training, and more.

Warden concluded, “It can be challenging to care for children in an emergency situation. Having these resources available to us helps to ease the minds of the children we care for, as well as the minds of their families and even our staff.”

Mile Bluff’s emergency department is available to care for people of all ages 24 hours a day.