urgent care facilities are a growing, important source of pediatric health care
in many communities. In an updated policy statement in the April 2014 issue of
Pediatrics, “Pediatric Care Recommendations for Freestanding Urgent Care Facilities” (published online April 28), the American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP) makes several recommendations for how urgent care providers can optimize
their care for children, while maintaining the highest standards of care.
Urgent care facilities serving children should be capable of providing timely
evaluation and initial resuscitation, and should be able to transfer patients
in an emergency. Whether a patient is transferred or not, appropriate medical
records should be created and promptly communicated to the patient’s medical
home. Providers and staff must have the training and experience to manage
children. Coordination with local emergency medical services is necessary.
According to the AAP, while urgent care facilities can provide an alternative
for acute care if the medical home is not available, there is still a need for
research into the role of urgent care in treating children. Given the growing
number of freestanding urgent care facilities, it is important for health
service researchers to develop a greater understanding of urgent care and
treating children in these settings.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary
care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical
specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children,
adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.