Tag Archive: Safety

The Cornerstone Series: The State of Data Use in EMS

It’s clear there is increasing interest among EMS leaders in using data to improve our ability to monitor our systems—often in real time—and to translate that data into information that can improve systems and ultimately patient care. Powered by Fitch & Associates’ experience in all 50 states over three decades, the series will be an up-to-date overview of how agencies can—and are—using their data.

Learning to Dance with an Elephant: 10 Harmful Realities of Modern EMS

We asked the members of the National EMS Management Association (NEMSMA) what they thought were the most critical issues plaguing EMS. Though members acknowledged significant concerns, including patient safety, fiscal sustainability and caregiver well-being, there were still some unrecognized elephants in the room that no one wants to see, hear or talk about. Here are those 10 harmful realities of modern EMS and proposed strategies to overcome them.

Fire Service Fatigue: A Problem You Can’t Afford to Ignore

In the hours after a train derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight people, news reports were already stating that the engineer’s recent work schedule would be examined. This wasn’t surprising, given that just weeks earlier, the National Transportation Safety Board stated that operator fatigue was partially to blame for another train crash that occurred in Chicago last year. Anyone who’s worked in the fire service knows that fatigue can impact one’s work performance. In the aftermath of major incidents, we don’t always focus on fatigue as a factor—and it’s often extremely difficult to know just what role it plays when it comes to vehicle crashes, fireground injuries, or medical errors. One thing is clear, however: employee fatigue impacts every fire department, no matter how big or small, or what type of shift schedule. It’s an issue that no fire chief should ignore.

Safety Management Systems in EMS: An Implementation Guide

Our peers in helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) have been catching a lot of flack in the media recently, due to several high-profile incidents and government investigations. Maybe you’ve been thinking, Thank goodness it’s them, not us. But what are you doing to achieve the safest environment for your staff and patients? You may find my opinion harsh or even critical, but I don’t see much activity at the grassroots level in making ground EMS operations safer. There seems to be an intense focus on “the box,” meaning the area behind the ambulance cab, but not much activity out of (and beyond) the box. Where are the vision, the commitment, the tools and the passion to meet our guiding mission, “First do no harm”?
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