Benefits of transitioning to a Quality Improvement (QI) Program

By Dr. Shana Nicholson and Joseph Heaton

As emergency medical services (EMS) managers, quality assurance (QA) can be a struggle when it comes to guiding our staff. It is imperative that we ensure staff is not only treating patients appropriately, but that we document this care within the appropriate guidelines and medical protocols. However, as we know, this effort can be challenging.

Quality Improvement Program
Many times when we discuss the QA process of medical care review with emergency medical providers, the initial response is to become defensive or aggravated. Historically, the QA system has been used as a weapon in a sort of blame game for problems with a call. EMS providers have been judged by peers and medical directors as lacking in professionalism, skills, and providing bad patient care on an opinion-based system. However, there has been a shift in federal patient care guidelines toward the Quality Improvement (QI) method of review.

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