EMS for Children (EMSC) Program
The Illinois EMS for Children program was formally established in 1994, and is aimed at improving pediatric emergency care and disaster preparedness within our state. Program guidance is provided by the Illinois EMSC Advisory Board, which is comprised of representatives from professional health care, child advocate and community organizations. EMS for Children is a collaborative partnership between the Illinois Department of Public Health and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
A key program initiative is enhancing the readiness of emergency departments within Illinois by ensuring that they meet specific standards that are outlined in EMS Administrative Code. Currently over 100 hospitals in Illinois have received recognition by the Illinois Department of Public Health via the EMSC Pediatric Facility Recognition program, for having the essential resources and capabilities in place to meet the emergency and critical care needs of seriously ill and injured children. Hospitals can apply for one of three levels of recognition. Facilities that have a pediatric intensive care unit and provide specialty inpatient services for the pediatric patient can seek recognition as a Pediatric Critical Care Center (PCCC). Hospitals that provide comprehensive emergency services and meet defined pediatric emergency care requirements can seek recognition as an Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics (EDAP). The Standby Emergency Department for Pediatrics (SEDP) recognition is for hospitals that provide stabilization measures and have transfer guidelines in place when more definitive pediatric care is needed.
In addition, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) requires each State EMSC Program to report on specific performance measures aimed at improving the delivery of emergency care services to children. These measures are focused on pediatric prehospital and emergency department capabilities as well as interfacility transfer components. An Illinois EMSC Advisory Board and standing committees comprised of clinical experts are in place to oversee and guide efforts to meet and maintain compliance with the performance measures.
Other initiatives conducted through the Illinois EMSC program include: