NAEMT Board Adopts an EMS Patient and Practitioner Safety Bill of Rights
Clinton, Miss. - The NAEMT Board issued a Position Statement affirming its belief in the rights of EMS patients and practitioners to have a safe environment when care is provided. The statement declares that all patients have the right to receive emergency and mobile healthcare that is:
• High quality and medically appropriate;
• Delivered on a timely basis using recognized and accepted patient safety standards;
• Delivered by appropriately trained, equipped and licensed emergency and mobile healthcare practitioners who are physically and mentally fit for duty; and
• Provided under the guidance of a qualified physician medical director.
The statement also asserts that all EMS practitioners have the right to:
• Work in a safe and healthy workplace;
• Be provided with the appropriate equipment and training to ensure the safety of their patients, themselves and their co-workers;
• Work within a "just culture," values-supportive system of shared accountability in which EMS agencies are accountable for the systems they have designed and for responding to the behaviors of their staff in a fair and just manner;
• Share information about patient care with their EMS agency, without fear of liability, as part of their agency's quality improvement program; and
• Timely access to medical countermeasures when responding to biological or radiological events.
"High-quality emergency and mobile healthcare is expected in every community and essential to improve patient outcomes," said NAEMT President Conrad "Chuck" Kearns. "The unpredictable risks of certain environments and exposure to infectious diseases threaten the safety of EMS practitioners, and ultimately the safety of their patients. To ensure that emergency and mobile healthcare is provided in an environment that is safe for both patients and practitioners, improvements must be made."
Formed in 1975 and more than 50,000 members strong, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) is the only national association representing the professional interests of all emergency and mobile healthcare practitioners, including emergency medical technicians, advanced emergency medical technicians, emergency medical responders, paramedics, advanced practice paramedics, critical care paramedics, flight paramedics, community paramedics, and mobile integrated healthcare practitioners. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government agencies, fire departments, hospital-based ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.