Innovations in Emergency Medical Services

Innovations in Emergency Medical Services Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Inappropriate calls to emergency medical services (EMS) providers and unnecessary use of the emergency department (ED) occur frequently. Handling nonemergency calls raises the costs of providing EMS and ED services, diverts valuable resources away from true emergencies, and can result in delayed care, ED crowding, and poor patient outcomes.

The featured Innovations describe two programs that implemented innovative strategies to reduce the use of EMS by frequent 911 callers, leading to major cost savings and increased capacity in area EDs. The third featured profile describes a State policy that banned ambulance diversions to other nearby EDs, resulting in reduced ED length of stay and ambulance turnaround time.

The featured QualityTools include a self-assessment tool for communities to assess the status of their paramedicine programs, resources for hospitals and health systems to improve systems of care in response to cardiac emergencies, and a Web site that describes an EMS information system used in various States to evaluate EMS performance.

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