Information technology (IT) has profoundly changed the delivery of health care during the past decade. The pediatric emergency department (ED) represents a specific challenge for applying IT systems to the patient bedside. The rapid pace and unscheduled nature of the ED, the breadth of care delivered, and the range of medical, ethical, cultural, and process issues presented by pediatric patients make this a setting in particular need of thoughtfully designed and usable IT systems. However, reviews of the current state of health IT have documented mixed outcomes, including safety risks introduced by IT systems, significant deficits in usability for clinicians, and unrealized potential. Although some publications have presented methods and outcomes of IT systems in the pediatric ED, the current medical literature is sparse. Professional organizations have not developed successful methods to share best practices across institutions and IT vendors. The authors propose a new section of this journal focused on the application of IT systems to Pediatric Emergency Care. The section will include original research articles and reviews focusing on the application of IT to improve care of acutely ill and injured children. Innovative approaches and articles by physicians in training are particularly encouraged to develop new expertise in informatics within this and related specialties.
From the *Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA; †Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio State University School of Medicine, Columbus, OH; and ‡Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Reprints: Joseph J. Zorc, MD, MSCE, Division of Emergency Medicine, Colket CTRB 9004, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 34th St and Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4399 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).