When you’re in the healthcare business, it’s no question you want the best possible care and safety for your employees, your patients and your community. Applying best practices in your EMS organization can help you create a well-balanced system capable of providing equal attention to employee, community and financial sustainability. However even though you may currently manage the various areas of an EMS system using the methods you are familiar with, there may be more efficient or more effective ways to improve employee satisfaction, deliver patient care or ensure long-term financial sustainability. These are best practices in EMS. Recently, I presented on best practices in EMS at the American Ambulance Association (AAA) Annual Conference at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P reported on my presentation in Best Practices in EMS for JEMS.com.
How do you identify and choose the right EMS best practices for your business?
First, familiarize yourself with patient feedback, employee input and outcomes. That’s the best way to begin to find the measurable successes and failures of your organization. Once you learn the level of overall satisfaction with your EMS system, you have the feedback needed to create, improve or update methods of delivering an accessible, integrated, seamless, accountable and responsive service to all stakeholders.
What are some EMS best practices that your organization can begin to consider?
Deployment: Set service reliability standards and meet them consistently. Measure response times accurately. Match supply and demand more efficiently. Consider technology to help create, manage or enhance deployment.
Operations: Ensure work environments are designed for long-term shifts and the best possible patient care. Give supervisors tools, resources or open channels of communication to fix issues. Bring scheduling and employee communication online. Logistics: Centralize deployment facilities. Help employees focus their activities on what they do best. Streamline restocking processes. Implement a cloud-based ordering system that delivers what you need, rather than a warehouse full of unneeded supplies.
Maintenance: Pursue preventative maintenance. Implement green initiatives, such as solar-charging systems or bio-fuels. Consider technology that provides cloud-based and wireless-accessed ways to stay in contact with your field supervisors, staff and network.
Human Resources: Create streamlined policies and procedures that link to C.A.A.S, C.A.M.T.S. or A.C.E. Provide academy-style orientation programs for employees. Consider policies on social networking and its impact on workplace safety and well-being. Set up cloud-based access for benefits management and administration. See all EMS best practices—including my suggestions for education, quality improvement, billing, communications, EMS systems design and others—from my best practices presentation for the OAMTA’s 2009 annual conference.
Why does EMS need best practices?
Your employees, your patients and your community expect and deserve the best level of care that reflects an effective and efficient EMS system design, one that is equally focused on employee well-being, patient care and financial sustainability. All three are possible for any forward-focused EMS system. At the close of my presentation in Las Vegas, I reminded participants of Albert Einstein’s famous quote: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This doesn’t have to be reality for your EMS organization. I urge you to take necessary action to apply best practices. Please contact me with any questions or concerns about how to enhance or improve your current EMS system.