|September 3, 2004|
FUNDING WILL BE USED TO DEVELOP SYSTEM
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. The Illinois Department of Public Health and Loyola University Medical Center have been awarded $600,000 in federal funds to develop a Web-based quality improvement and training program for pediatric emergency care providers.
The Department, in partnership with Loyola's Stritch School of Medicine, is only one of seven recipients out of a field of 32 grant applicants from across the county to receive the competitive grants.
As part of the Web-based program, multiple hospitals within each of the 11 Emergency Medical Services regions of the state will evaluate specific components of care that they provide to their pediatric patients, focusing on four conditions: asthma, seizures, pain management and infants with fevers.
The Department and Loyola will assess the data submitted and then identify areas in which improvement is needed. After participation in the program, physicians and nurses will be evaluated to see if they have made changes in the way they care for children.
"The quality improvement process is a way to improve care by identifying opportunities for improvement, implementing proven measures and then re-evaluating those measures," said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director.
This program is similar to a paper-based system developed by the Department, but users will be able to enter their data directly into a database via the Web and generate reports to see how they are doing. In addition, the Department will develop electronic, interactive education modules for each of the four conditions to be used by nurses and physicians.
"This new electronic system will allow hospitals to obtain much quicker feedback," Dr. Whitaker said. "In addition, they can compare their findings against other hospitals within their region so they can benchmark themselves."
The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and will be spread out over three years. The paper-based quality improvement process was funded through a previous HRSA Targeted Issues Grant.
The Department's project will build upon previous efforts by other emergency medical services for children (EMSC) grantees, who have developed initiatives addressing the educational needs of emergency care providers, the availability of child-sized equipment in pre-hospital and emergency care settings, protocols and treatment guidelines and childhood injury prevention. The Department's project will serve as a model that can be replicated by other states.
The Illinois EMSC program is a collaborative effort of the Illinois Department of Public Health and Loyola University Medical Center of Chicago. It was established in 1994 to ensure that the emergency medical care needs of children are adequately addressed.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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