Arizona's Emergency Medical Services for Children Pediatric Designation System for Emergency Departments

Natasha Smith, Tomi St. Mars, Dale Woolridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background In 2012, a voluntary certification program called Pediatric Prepared Emergency Care (PPEC) was established in Arizona as a system for pediatric emergency preparedness. Emergency medicine and pediatric specialists generated basic, intermediate, and advanced designation criteria. Dedicated medical management by a pediatric emergency specialist is required for advanced centers. Designation follows a site visit, review, and approval by the subcommittee and the Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Discussion Arizona has 5 designated pediatric emergency departments, all of which are in the southeast part of the state. Therefore, a designation system was implemented so that all emergency departments statewide can receive more training, support, and supervision of pediatric care. The goal was to create a self-sustaining network with active participation from member institutions while fostering the pediatric commitment. Since its inception, 39 hospitals and 5 tribal facilities have joined PPEC, equating to 51% of Arizona's emergency facilities. Of the hospitals, 7 are advanced, 6 are intermediate, and 17 are basic centers. In 2015, all of the 9 sites due for recertification were recertified. The multiple tiers allow for mutual accountability, sharing of resources, and improved quality of care for pediatrics in emergency departments statewide. Conclusion PPEC enhances the quality of pediatric emergency preparedness by means of voluntary certification. The primary limitations are sustainability and funding, because an Emergency Medical Services for Children grant has offset the cost until now. The number of member facilities in this designation system is continually growing, and universal recertification shows sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-200
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • EMSC
  • emergency care for children
  • health policy
  • pediatric emergency department

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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