Pediatric capacity crisis: A framework and strategies to prepare for a pediatric surge

Diana M. Bongiorno*, Miranda Ravicz, Nicole L. Nadeau, Kenneth A. Michelson, Elizabeth R. Alpern, Sage R. Myers, Margaret E. Samuels-Kalow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A pediatric capacity crisis developed across the country in the Fall and Winter of 2022 due to a combination of factors, including a surge in respiratory viruses, staffing shortages, and historical closures of inpatient pediatric units. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated surge in critically ill adult patients demonstrated that health care systems and health care workers can quickly implement creative and collaborative system-wide solutions to deliver the best care possible during a capacity crisis. Similar solutions are needed to respond to future surges in pediatric volume and to maintain a high standard of care during such a surge. This paper aims to build upon insights from the COVID-19 and H1N1 pandemic responses and the 2022 pediatric capacity crisis. We provide specific recommendations addressing governmental/policy, hospital/health care system, and individual clinician strategies that can be implemented to manage future surges in pediatric patient volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13093
JournalJACEP Open
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • capacity crisis
  • health care systems
  • pediatrics
  • policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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