Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
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Funded 2011-20

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NCE contributions
$2.8 million

University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Improving pediatric emergency care across Canada

Up to 85 per cent of children in Canada who need emergency care are treated in general emergency departments (ED) that are not part of a children’s hospital. Difficulties in getting the right training and resources have been cited as barriers to providing the best possible care in these settings, resulting in varying levels of emergency care for children across the country. Developing pediatric expertise in a general ED setting can be challenging due to certain conditions occurring infrequently and child-specific training being difficult to access. Fortunately, Canada has both the expertise and the know-how to address this challenge. It has invested in a national effort that is accelerating the speed at which the latest knowledge in children’s emergency care is put into practice in every general ED, be it urban, rural or remote.

Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) is a network of researchers, clinicians, health consumers and national organizations who are finding better ways to share knowledge and experience between general EDs, children’s hospitals, and academic institutions. TREKK implemented a three-phase plan to increase health professionals’ knowledge, skills and confidence in caring for acutely ill and injured children in general EDs. This approach includes a needs assessment, mapping current evidence and sharing knowledge and practical tools with health professionals, parents and other stakeholders.

Among the results

  • TREKK surveyed more than 2,850 health consumers and healthcare professionals at 32 general EDs across Canada to determine their knowledge needs and preferences. Those needs included more information on pediatric conditions such as severe head injuries and meningitis faster and easier access to current knowledge, and more professional development opportunities. Nine organizations used the needs assessment results to inform the agendas for their emergency medicine education sessions.
  • To date, TREKK has developed 19 Bottom Line Recommendations as evidence-based resources for healthcare professionals, which gives key facts and recommendations on the diagnosis and management of various pediatric conditions. Additionally, TREKK created Pediatric Packs (PedsPacs) – toolkits for point-of-care use in EDs to manage critically ill neonate and children with sepsis, status epilepticus, diabetic ketoacidosis, severe asthma and anaphylaxis. The toolkit includes a treatment algorithm, specialized pocket cards, a drug dosing binder, and pre-printed order sets, custom made for each condition.
  • Finding trusted health information on the internet can be a challenge for parents. TREKK continues to work directly with parents and healthcare professionals to develop evidence-based interactive tools for families. These tools include online storybooks, interactive infographics, and animated videos for conditions such as croup, vomiting and diarrhea, and minimizing pain from needle pokes.
  • To increase awareness of the network, TREKK has established collaborations with 67 EDs across the country and has provided 99 education sessions to more than 1,500 healthcare professionals at general EDs, sharing resources and providing updates on children’s emergency care. Identified as a need through stakeholder engagement, TREKK launched a mobile application in 2018, allowing easy access to resources in remote areas and other sites that may lack internet connection and cellular data.