The hospitals in Calgary are responsible to provide comprehensive health services to residents within the city and rural areas surrounding Calgary and tertiary level services to the population in Southern Alberta. Given this, the population growth through in -migration and the increasing birth rate is predicted to put a strain on existing paediatric inpatient services. These pressures are within the context of the normal seasonal variation of paediatric inpatient activity (peek activity from November through April due to high levels respiratory and infectious illnesses). For planning purposes, the winter peak activity is used for capacity planning.
In Calgary paediatric inpatient care occurs at two sites, the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) and the Peter Lougheed Centre (PLC). This current bed compliment has been primarily adequate, although activity has been increasing. With the increased birthrate (5% per year) over the past several years and the in-migration of families there is a projection that additional beds will be required.
From a service delivery perspective, the ACH will continue as the single tertiary site and any new beds will be at the community or secondary level of care.
It has become clear that the definition of community or level II patient populations and service delivery models is not well defined in practice. While capital planning proceeds, there is a pressure to confirm a paediatric care model that addresses the best practice within a tertiary/secondary level of care service model. This initiative can support current models of patient care across the ACH and PLC as well as inform service delivery and expectations for future capital growth.
A systematic, comprehensive literature search was conducted in both the academic and grey literature fields using the key words: “paediatric” and “patient admission”; “tertiary care” and “community hospital” and “admission”; “appropriateness” and “admission”; “criteria for admission”; “admission” and “algorithm”.
The few articles that were found were analysed based on content and those describing how decisions made around where patients (preferably paediatric) were admitted were included.