IWK partnering with emergency departments across the province to improve emergency care for children and youth

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The IWK Emergency Department (ED) is working with emergency departments and collaborative emergency centres across the province to make it easier to provide high quality care to kids.  Each year over 95,000 children and youth in Nova Scotia need emergency care. Approximately 70 per cent of this emergency care is delivered at sites outside of the IWK Health Centre.

The IWK has partnered with the Nova Scotia Health Authority Emergency Program of Care to co-create tools and care pathways for emergency teams to use.  This has started with standardized treatment for vomiting and diarrhea with plans to roll out new care pathways for sepsis, asthma, croup, diabetic ketoacidosis and anaphylaxis in the coming months.

With the help of Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK), IWK ED teams are delivering training and resources to improve emergency care for children across the province.

“PEDS TREKK gave me an insight in how to provide the best care to our little patients in a rural hospital with their excellent, easy to use resources,” says Chanda MacDonald, NSHA clinical education lead, based at Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

“One of the most meaningful parts of my job is traveling to emergency sites across the province, getting to know the local docs and nurses and understanding their community,” says Dr. Shannon MacPhee, Atlantic Nodal Leader for TREKK and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Dalhousie. “There is incredible passion and commitment from all our sites across the province to provide the best possible care to children.”

TREKK is a national program aimed at increasing the quality of care for children and youth in emergency departments.  This program has well developed tools for health care professionals and families to help ensure that the latest evidence is brought to the bedside.  The IWK ED has been involved with the TREKK group since its inception and has one of the most active outreach programs in Canada.  To date, 27 health care professionals from the IWK ED have taught with the TREKK program and reached 13 Emergency Departments across the Maritimes.

“Health care providers’ desire for up-to-date pediatric emergency care information, including accessible resources, is evident with every session we hold,” says Eleanor Fitzpatrick, Atlantic TREKK Coordinator. “Positive evaluations and feedback at the end of each TREKK session shows the value and appreciation learners have for the education provided.”