520 North Third Ave Sandpoint, ID 83864

 (208) 263-1441

BGH Emergency Department the first Critical Access Hospital in Idaho to be recognized as Pediatric Capable by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

By: Kristin Carlson

Several years ago, the National Pediatric Readiness Project Assessment revealed a need for improvements in pediatric readiness in Emergency Departments around the nation. Pediatric Readiness ensures that Emergency Departments (EDs) have pediatric-specific policies, equipment, procedures, staff, and resources available to meet the unique needs of the specialized emergency care required to care for children (birth through teen).

The Idaho Emergency Medical Services for Children Program (EMSC) launched the Idaho Pediatric Readiness Hospital Recognition Program on January 1, 2024, with the goal of improving pediatric emergency care in the Gem state.  With approximately 10-12% of patient volumes being children, the Bonner General Health ED took swift action in addressing the requirements to meet the designation and ensure quality pediatric care for our community. The department updated policies and added pediatric specific equipment.  “We needed to have one specific project we were working on to improve pediatric care. The BGH ED Pediatric Readiness Group is working on improving care for pediatric DKA patients (Pediatric Diabetic Ketoacidosis).  They can be some of the sickest patients we see. We will continue to work on projects where we see a need through quality and performance improvement reviews.” – Marian Martin – Director of Emergency Services

BGH ED completed the Pediatric Readiness Survey with a site visit from EMSC on Tuesday, April 16. 2024. After the extensive survey, the EMSC Advisory Committee reviewed the findings, and the BGH ED was approved and recognized as Pediatric Capable. BGH is the first Critical Access Hospital in Idaho to receive the designation.

Several BGH staff were involved in the project.  ED Director Marian Martin serves as the Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator, Dr. Doug Dixon is the Physician Coordinator, ED Supervisor Ryan Kerouac, Lori Garza, RN, and Cardiopulmonary/ICU Director Jaime Martinez played integral roles in completing the requirements to be eligible for the Pediatric Capable Designation.  

The Board of Certification for Emergency Nurses has world-class board certifications to recognize nurses who demonstrate mastery of emergency, pediatric emergency, flight, critical care ground transport, trauma, and burn nursing. The Bonner General Health Emergency Department now has five RNs who have earned their certifications.  Lori Garza is now a Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN). RNs Henry Magdun, Taryn Born, Stephanie Gettys and Marian Martin have all obtained the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN).

All of the BGH Emergency Department RNs have completed courses and remain up to date in NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Program – Care for the newborn at birth), S.T.A.B.L.E. (neonatal education program focusing on the care of sick infants), and PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support – care for pediatric patients who are experiencing life-threatening emergencies). Additionally, all of the BGH ED Physicians are board-certified through the American College of Emergency Physicians and inherently qualified to take care of sick and injured children.

“The collaboration of our team has been invaluable with this project as we have worked together to get the program recognition. I am extremely proud of how many RNs are certified in our small Emergency Department.  I feel confident we are capable and prepared to care for the youth in our community.” – Marian Martin

“Bonner General Health is the first CAH Hospital ED to be recognized in Idaho as Pediatric Ready! We were very impressed with their staff and ED’s ability to care for pediatric patients.” – Stacy Connolly, Program Manager, EMSC, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Bonner General Health is a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital and healthcare network of outpatient clinics in Sandpoint, Idaho, providing comprehensive medical services to patients in Northern Idaho, Eastern Washington, and Western Montana. Through compassion, excellence, integrity, and stewardship, Bonner General Health strives to honor its mission to Improve Health, Inspire Hope, and Save Lives.

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