Paediatric Care Online gives users reference to key practice points in making decisions
An online decision support tool has been made available for doctors providing healthcare for children.
Named Paediatric Care Online, it is hosted by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Heatlh (RCPCH), which says it could help to reduce 2,000 avoidable deaths each year in the UK by ensuring the right children are quickly referred to hospitals and other specialist services.
It makes use of key practice points – decision support tools that cover common signs and symptoms and critical care situations – to give healthcare professionals more confidence in deciding which child patients can be safely looked after at home. There are currently almost 90 points, taking in conditions from abdominal distension to wheezing.
Initially the tool is open potential users free of charge, but will become part of the RCPCH membership service from January of next year.
Dr Hilary Cass, clinical lead for Paediatric Care Online and member of RCPCH, said: “PCO UK will improve patient safety and reduce hospital admissions by providing healthcare professionals with immediate, professionally assured, evidenced based guidance together with a host of supporting reference materials and patient/carer information.
"This will enable professionals to diagnose early, treat, prescribe, or signpost timely referral to the most appropriate service.”
The initial development of PCO UK was funded by the Department of Health (DH) and it has been developed by a partnership group comprising of the RCPCH, the Royal College of General Practitioners , the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Royal College of Nursing , the Institute of Health Visiting and the American Academy of Pediatrics. It includes access to the British National Formulary for Children, Public Health England’s Green Book on immunisations against infectious disease and the RCPCH child protection companion.
Image by Nevit Dilmen, CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons