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Addressing leadership and caregiver bias in EMS

The EMS leader’s task is to recognize and reduce negative impacts of bias as much as possible


By Todd Sheridan

Bias exists within all organizations and individuals. The EMS leader’s task is to recognize and reduce negative impacts of bias as much as humanly possible. The first step in that process is to understand what it is and how it impacts our decisions.

Bias is defined as “the action of supporting or opposing a particular person or thing in an unfair way, because of allowing personal opinions to influence your judgement.”

First and foremost, we must consider how caregiver bias could potentially negatively impact the patients we serve. According to the Joint Commission there is extensive evidence and research that finds unconscious biases can lead to differential treatment of patients by race, gender, weight, age, language, income and insurance status. The Joint Commission recommends the following actions to combat caregiver bias:

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