An online diagnostic support tool promising to transform paediatric healthcare was launched by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) on 11 January 2016. The initiative is supported by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), a partner in the UK launch.
Paediatric Care Online (PCO UK), a UK version of the successful Pediatric Care Online set up by the American Academy of Pediatrics, offers specialist diagnostic advice for paediatricians, GPs, nurses and other healthcare professionals. It is hoped that PCO UK will help to reduce avoidable child deaths, of which there are around 2,000 each year in the UK.
PCO UK presents a variety of resources, including the British National Formulary (BNF) for Children, published jointly by the RPS and British Medical Association. It also offers ‘Key Practice Points’ that cover common signs and symptoms of childhood diseases, such as vomiting and diarrhoea, and critical, “red flag” care situations such as drug overdose and airway obstruction. The practice points incorporate National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) guidance where possible.
Helen Gordon, chief executive of the RPS, described the tool as “hugely useful” in helping healthcare professionals to achieve the right outcomes in paediatric care.
“Pharmacists and all health professionals working with children will welcome the evidence-based approach and fast access to guidelines to support them in their decision-making,” she says. “PCO UK will not only enable better clinical decision making but also help children and parents too.”
Hilary Cass, clinical lead for PCO UK and member of the RCPCH, says the tool will provide healthcare professionals with “professional assured” guidance.
PCO UK is available on desktop, tablet and smartphone devices.