A Review of Pediatric Care Online
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Rachel M. Oleaga, MLS
Touro College School of Health Sciences
Bay Shore, NY


Pediatric Care Online (PCO) is a subscription-based web portal containing peer-reviewed pediatric resources edited and maintained by the American Academy of Pediatrics. PCO is composed of several collections organized by function, including point-of-care quick reference, well child resources, pediatric drug lookup, and multimedia, along with full electronic access to the AAP Textbook of Pediatric Care, which comprehensively covers pediatric clinical practice.

Subscribers to PCO also get full access to Red Book Online and Pediatric Patient Education — two additional resources in the AAP Point-of-Care Solutions network. Red Book Online is a widely used resource for pediatric infectious disease solutions (available in both English and Spanish) and Pediatric Patient Education is a patient education library with a variety of printable instructions and informational handouts for families.

The Pediatric Care Online editorial advisory board continually evaluates the information on the site and updates it daily with new developments in pediatric research. New and updated policies and recommendations published by the American Academy of Pediatrics are also included in PCO.

Each of the 250 point-of-care quick reference topics in this portal has detailed information organized by foundation, evaluation, management, and resources. Citations are provided along with AAP policy statements, additional suggested resources, and published guidelines. Related topics, chapters in books, and images can be accessed from the right sidebar.

The well child resources portion of the portal is composed of Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children and Adolescents. Bright Futures is based in theory and supported by evidence to help foster the health and wellness of children through different interventions. It includes downloadable questionnaires and forms, and provides a framework to guide well visits and evaluations. Well child resources also include printable handouts that can be given to patients and families, as well as interactive development schedules, preventive services, and questionnaires.

The pediatric drug lookup, powered by Lexicomp, is browsable by brand name, generic name, or drug class, as well as via a search option. For each drug, there is a wealth of information including pharmacology, usage, warnings, dosage, administration, storage, interactions, etc. Patient education sheets on each drug are also available, as well as references with links to PubMed.

The tools section, accessed via the top toolbar, contains forms and checklists to monitor and record clinical information and to coordinate care. Multimedia resources are also accessible via the top toolbar, and include supplemental images and videos of common medical procedures and mental health screening examples.


PCO content and the interface are formatted for use in a clinical setting, providing access to relevant pediatric medical information to help inform clinical decision making. Clinical calculators, point-of-care tools, and consumer handouts are easy to find, and aid in providing supplemental information about a condition/diagnosis/treatment in appropriate language for patients and families.

Users can scroll through specific content areas on the home page or use the toolbar to select content. A search bar along the top of the screen can be used to locate content or a variety of resources on a specific topic. The home page also contains the most recent news and care updates, as well as an “image of the day.” Switching to Red Book Online or the Pediatric Patient Education main pages is easy to do.

PCO can be used on desktop computers as well as on mobile devices, with an app for both Apple and Android devices. The app is free to download but a subscription login is required to access content. Internet access is also necessary in order to access all functions of the app.

Business Model

There are three subscription options: individual, group practice, and institutional. An inquiry form at the site (http://solutions.aap.org/ss/Subscription_Information.aspx) can be used to determine the most practical type of subscription based on need, location, and use. PCO can be used by itself, but there is also an option for the suite of AAP Point-of-Care Solutions to be integrated into EMR and EHR systems in customizable ways.


Pediatric Care Online is a point-of-care resource for clinicians in pediatrics. For use in clinical settings, it provides quick access to evidence-based information to aid in diagnosis and treatment, and addresses the importance of health literacy of patients and families. The ease of navigation, mobility, and aggregation of content, along with integration of AAP guidelines, make this an invaluable resource for pediatric medical professionals and medical professionals in training.

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