The majority of children requiring emergency care are treated in general emergency departments (EDs) with variable levels of pediatric care expertise. The goal of the Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) initiative is to implement the latest research in pediatric emergency medicine in general EDs to reduce clinical variation.
To determine national pediatric information needs, seeking behaviours, and preferences of health care professionals working in general EDs.
Total of 1,471 surveys were completed (57.1% response rate). Health care professionals sought information on children’s health care by talking to colleagues (n=1,208, 82.1%), visiting specific medical/health websites (n=994, 67.7%), and professional development opportunities (n=941, 64.4%). Preferred child health resources included protocols and accepted treatments for common conditions (n=969, 68%), clinical pathways and practice guidelines (n=951, 66%), and evidence-based information on new diagnoses and treatments (n=866, 61%). Additional pediatric clinical information is needed about multisystem trauma (n=693, 49%), severe head injury (n=615, 43%), and meningitis (n=559, 39%). Health care professionals preferred to receive child health information through professional development opportunities (n=1,131, 80%) and printed summaries (n=885, 63%).
By understanding health care professionals’ information seeking behaviour, information needs, and information preferences, knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation initiatives can be targeted to improve pediatric emergency care. The findings from this study will inform the following two phases of the TREKK initiative to bridge the research-practice gap in Canadian general EDs.