Emergency Department Paediatric Readiness

Children requiring emergency care have unique needs that are typically very different than those of adult patients, especially when the need for care is serious or life-threatening. Having the appropriate resources (e.g., infrastructure, equipment, supplies), staffing/training, paediatric-specific policies/procedures and quality improvement practices in place -in other words, “paediatric readiness’- is essential for an emergency department (ED) to provide quality care to paediatric patients.

PCMCH, in partnership with Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK), is leading the ED Paediatric Readiness initiative, which includes the development and launch of an online readiness checklist. This work leverages two federally funded initiatives in the United States: the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program and the National Paediatric Readiness Project (NPRP) survey.

About the Checklist

The readiness checklist consists of approximately 170 medical health and mental health questions related to:

  1. Demographics/Infrastructure
  2. Coordination of Patient Care
  3. ED Staffing and Training
  4. Quality Improvement & Patient Safety
  5. Policies and Procedures
  6. Paediatric Equipment or Supplies
  7. Challenges/Enablers

The checklist is not prescriptive nor does it instruct hospitals about what must be in place for them to see paediatric patients within their EDs. Instead, the results will help identify and drive quality improvements within organizations, regions and the larger system of care, and will help monitor the provincial system’s progress in paediatric readiness. In addition, the data will be shared with other system partners, as appropriate, for planning purposes.

Current Status

The Emergency Department (ED) Paediatric Readiness Checklist was rolled out in April 2022. Hospital sites in Ontario that completed the paediatric readiness checklist then received a customized report in which information about their hospital’s ED paediatric readiness, and any areas for improvement, was included. In addition, the report provided benchmarks against other hospitals that participated in this initiative. The checklist will be administered every few years to highlight progress and areas for improvement.

The ED Paediatric Readiness Advisory Group had its inaugural meeting in March 2023.  This group provides guidance on the analysis of the checklist data, and in the identification of potential opportunities/ approaches for quality improvement and/or addressing identified gaps in paediatric emergency department care.


Please contact ED.Readiness@pcmch.on.ca about this initiative.