Reducing Risk and Improving Patient Outcomes
Forty-four years after the study that created modern EMS systems, much has changed in prehospital care, including public access to AEDs, bystander CPR, and medical first responder programs. However, many communities and agencies continue to expose EMS personnel, patients, and the public to dangerous responses as they race to meet outdated time metrics.
One article from Firehouse Magazine highlights the only justification for response time standards and lights/siren responses is “how we’ve always done it.“ Another, from the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, points out that “systems utilizing response time performance as a metric expose their patients, providers, and the public to a known risk with only a potential benefit to a tiny percentage of patients.”
“Whether you lead a government body, an EMS regulatory agency, or an EMS organization, we must do better. We have to stop creating risks for patients, providers, and the public. We have to stop using fear and false metrics to communicate value to stakeholders. We have to start using the growing body of peer-reviewed clinical data and research to demonstrate that our 1979 system performance standards are ineffective and dangerous.” Kolby Miller, Medstar Chief Executive Officer
Threes year ago, 14 national healthcare, EMS, and fire service associations published a joint position paper highlighting the dangers of emergency response and urging communities to reduce dependence on outdated time standards. Medstar hosted the first public presentation of the material in the nation. EMS physicians, agency, and emergency dispatch leaders from around the country presented to 49 mayors, township supervisors, elected and appointed community leaders, and healthcare and Michigan EMS leaders, as well as hosting the second annual meeting on the topic.
The Summit has grown to become the forefront of a national discussion that’s now one of the most important topics in emergency medical services. The discussion now extends beyond EMS agency leadership, to include elected and appointed community leaders and state and local EMS oversight bodies responsible for patient outcomes, staffing, risk, and safety.
This years summit will feature a presentation from the original publication research group specifically addressing other performance metrics for EMS systems and communities.
Medstar will host the the national discussion on March 7 and 8, 2024. The March 7 preconference is designed for EMS Medical Directors from Michigan and surrounding states; while March 8 is a full-day session (lunch provided) focused on elected officials, healthcare leaders, and EMS system leaders. Designed for policymakers, elected officials, and community stakeholders responsible for the safety and clinical outcomes, the discussions will be led by Jon Krohmer, Matt Zavadsky, Jerry Overton, and Douglas Kupas, MD, FAEMS, FACEP. Opening remarks will be provided by Emily Bergquist and William Fales, MD, FACEP, FAEMS.