- To develop and implement locally tailored pediatric admission guidelines for use in a pediatric emergency department and evaluate the appropriateness of admissions based on these guidelines. Our Study was based on the development of admission guidelines by senior physicians, using the Delphi Consensus Process, for use in the Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) at Soroka University Medical Center (Soroka). We evaluated the appropriateness of admissions to the pediatric departments of Soroka on 33 randomly selected days in 1999 and 2000 prior to guideline implementation and 30 randomly selected days in 2001, after guideline implementation. A total of 1037 files were evaluated. A rate of 12.4% inappropriate admissions to the pediatric departments was found based on locally tailored admission guidelines. There was no change in the rate of inappropriate admissions after implementation of admission guidelines in PED. Inappropriate admissions were associated with age above 3 years, hospital stay of two days or less and the season. The main reasons for evaluating an admission as inappropriate were that the admission did not comply with the guidelines and that the case could be managed in an ambulatory setting. There were distinctive differences in the characteristics of the Bedouin and Jewish populations admitted to the pediatric departments, although no difference was found in the rate of inappropriate admissions between these populations. Patient management in Soroka PED is tailored to the conditions of this medical center and to the characteristics of the population it serves. The admission guidelines developed reflect these special conditions. Lack of change in the rate of inappropriate admissions following implementation of the guidelines indicates that the guidelines reflect the physicians' approach to patient management that existed in Soroka PED prior to guideline implementation. Hospital admission guidelines have a role in the health management system; however, these guidelines must be tailored to reflect local characteristics and needs.