MedStar's model is shining example for us all

Any system can take a few ideas from this study and modify them to address their particular needs

It is great to see a prehospital study of this size demonstrate the ability of EMS to contribute to the overall health care strategy.

As I mentioned recently, EMS needs to evolve fairly rapidly just to keep up with the speed of change that is quietly but definitely moving through the house of medicine.

In this case, the EMS system involved in the study worked on multiple fronts to reduce the number of unnecessary transports by their units, which in turn reduced the number of admissions to the local emergency departments.

These changes were implemented with relatively little cost and by using existing staffing.

The result was a gain in financial and operational efficiency — a great measure by any means.

Not all systems can implement these configuration changes. Reviewing the article, it is clear that there needs to be multidisciplinary support for the concept and an array of resources to implement and monitor.

Yet any system can take a few ideas and modify them to address their particular needs. These types of efforts can really sharpen an EMS system's management of its local community, no matter how big or small.

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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