The future is now for EMS

What will you do to make it happen?

In 1996, The EMS Agenda for the Future envisioned the concept of the community health advanced medical provider (CHAMP) as an evolutionary step in the EMS system development.

In a scenario, a CHAMP evaluates a non-English speaking patient experiencing what turns out to be ischemic chest pain.

Through technology and wireless communications, the CHAMP not only treats the patient appropriately but also performs a series of follow up care steps to ensure that the patient returns to a fuller state of health.

Sometimes science fiction evolves into reality. This article is proof that our profession is slowly, but steadily making progress in its evolution as a predominant field care provider in the health care spectrum.

While the arena of the hospital and clinic are dominated by physicians, nurses and PAs, EMS providers have been comfortable working in the uncontrolled environment of the outside world since the beginning. It makes perfect sense that we push ourselves to find new roles in this space, and learn the new skills and knowledge necessary to perform them well.

We cannot allow old paradigms to keep us where we've always been — that will not serve us well. Our health care system is already demanding better performance from its infrastructure - to be more efficient and more effective.

To that end EMS will have to finds its place and assert its influence in the space we know best — in patient's homes, work places and on the street. As Minnesota demonstrates, it's not rocket science. It just requires the intelligence, creativity and will of the community to make it happen.

About the author

Art Hsieh, MA, NRP teaches in Northern California at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. An EMS provider since 1982, Art has served as a line medic, supervisor and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook writer, author of "EMT Exam for Dummies," has presented at conferences nationwide and continues to provide direct patient care regularly. Art is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Contact Art at and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

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