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.
An electronic cross-sectional survey was conducted with health care
professionals in 32 Canadian general EDs. Data were collected in the EDs
using the iPad and in-person data collectors.
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
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.