Pediatric Emergency Care Coordination in EMS Agencies: Findings of a Multistate Learning Collaborative

Hoi See Tsao, Rachael Alter, Erica Kane, Toni Gross, Lorin R. Browne, Marc Auerbach, Julie C. Leonard, Lorah Ludwig, Kathleen M. Adelgais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In 2017, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal Child and Health Bureau’s Emergency Medical Services for Children program implemented a performance measure for State Partnership grants to increase the percentage of EMS agencies within each state that have designated individuals who coordinate pediatric emergency care, also called a pediatric emergency care coordinator (PECC). The PECC Learning Collaborative (PECCLC) was established to identify best practices to achieve this goal. This study’s objective is to report on the structure and outcomes of the PECCLC conducted among nine states. Methods: This study used quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate outcomes from the PECCLC. Participating state representatives engaged in a 6-month collaborative that included monthly learning sessions with subject matter experts and support staff and concluded with a two-day in-person meeting. Outcomes included reporting the number of PECCs recruited, identifying barriers and enablers to PECC recruitment, characterizing best practices to support PECCs, and identifying barriers and enablers to enhance and sustain the PECC role. Outcomes were captured by self-report from participating state representatives and longitudinal qualitative interviews conducted with representative PECCs at 6 and 18 months after conclusion of the PECCLC. Results: During the 6-month collaborative, states recruited 341 PECCs (92% of goal). Follow up at 5 months post-collaborative revealed an additional recruitment of 184 for a total of 525 PECCs (142% of the goal). Feedback from state representatives and PECCs revealed the following barriers: competition from other EMS responsibilities, budgetary constraints, lack of incentive for agencies to create the position, and lack of requirement for establishing the role. Enablers identified included having an EMS agency recognition program that includes the PECC role, train-the-trainer programs, and inclusion of the PECC role in agency licensure requirements. Longitudinal interviews with PECCs identified that the most common activity associated with their role was pediatric-specific education and the most important need for PECC success was agency-level support. Conclusion: Over the 6-month Learning Collaborative, nine states were successful in recruiting a substantial number of PECCs. Financial and time constraints were significant barriers to statewide PECC recruitment, yet these can be potentially addressed by EMS agency recognition programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPrehospital Emergency Care
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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