New Program Introduces Local EMTs to Seriously Ill Patients in Their Communities

March 5, 2007

With increasing medical advancements in treatment and technology, patients battling life-threatening conditions are living longer and heading home sooner than ever before.  As a result, many patients are returning to their communities with challenging special needs, and they often bring along complicated equipment and supplies that help them live happier, fuller lives.

As a result, Columbus Childrens Hospital is pioneering a new program that connects these families with local Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) in their communities.  The idea is to help educate and prepare emergency workers for the worst by introducing them to the patients and the cutting edge medical equipment they depend on equipment that years ago, never left the hospital setting.

You develop a rapport between the families and emergency workers, says Kate Shaner, R.N., Emergency Medical Services (EMS) coordinator at Columbus Childrens Hospital.  When EMTs have the opportunity to meet and assess a child in a low-stress, non-emergency situation, theyre better prepared to act during a crisis.

The program combines classroom-style technical training with an old-fashioned family meeting.  First, EMS Coordinators from Columbus Childrens Hospital schedule a training session with each emergency department that could potentially be called to respond to the patients home.  They instruct EMTs on the patients background, medical condition, potential for medical emergencies and necessary equipment.  Then, Childrens arranges for the emergency workers and family to meet face-to-face at the patients home.  Both groups are able to get to know each other and ask questions, and both events only take place if the family wants to participate in the program.

Columbus Childrens Hospital was recently ranked first in the country by Child Magazine when it comes to providing outstanding pediatric emergency care.  This program is just another example of Columbus Childrens Hospitals commitment to family-centered care, which focuses on the needs of the entire family as well as the needs of the patient.

If we can send patients and their families home prepared to take on the challenges that lie ahead, then we know that weve provided the best care possible, says Sherri Kovach, R.N., Childrens EMS coordinator.

Pam Barber / Mary Ellen Fiorino
Columbus Children's Hospital Marketing and Public Relations
(614) 722-4595

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report ‘s 2018-19 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at