Company Perspective - Quality Tools
Accreditation Canada and Emergency Medical Services
Accreditation Canada has recently developed and released Emergency Medical Services (EMS) standards. Medavie EMS has been an active participant in and contributor to this process. These standards facilitate integration and linkages of Emergency Medical Services across the health care continuum at organization and system levels. They are part of a quality improvement process that will prove beneficial regardless of the EMS system delivery model, including public and private EMS services.
In 2008, the draft EMS standards were piloted across Canada, and a web-based national consultation was conducted. Medavie EMS had the distinct pleasure of participating in the pilot surveys. Island EMS in Prince Edward Island was one of the four services that participated as a pilot site.
EMS standards focus on a number of key topics
- Providing high quality Emergency Medical Services, including communications and call taking, preparing for arrival, assessing the incident scene, patient assessment and treatment, transporting the patient, and transfer
- Preventing infections and minimizing exposure to hazards
- Ensuring safe operation of EMS vehicles, equipment, and medical devices
- Increasing community awareness of EMS and establishing strong partnerships for public education and emergency preparedness
- Building a high performing EMS team, including medical oversight, interdisciplinary teams and worklife balance
- Maintaining user-friendly and effective clinical and information systems for all patients and calls
- Monitoring quality and safety and achieving positive outcomes through data collection and the use of quality indicators
Required Organizational Practices
Medavie EMS supports the accreditation process and has used much of the reference material available from Accreditation Canada to identify and develop our patient safety initiatives. This is particularly true of the Required Organizational Practices (ROPs) that address patient safety activities. In collaboration expert advisory groups, Accreditation Canada began developing the ROPs in 2004. It has invested in and conducted significant research to identify the major patient safety risk areas and best patient safety practices. An ROP is defined as an essential practice that organizations must have in place to enhance patient/client safety and minimize risk.
Required Organizational Practices have been established in seven patient safety areas:
- Medication Use
- Work life/Workforce
- Infection Control
- Falls Prevention
- Risk Assessment
The Medavie EMS Patient Safety Working Group has reviewed the 31 ROPs in these areas and selected those applicable to the EMS industry. Our next steps include implementing those practices not currently in place throughout our companies.