Over the years one of the dynamic shifts that I can readily attest to in EMS has been the increased focus on both patient and provider safety. While there have been significant improvements made industry wide, there is still room to grow and improve on this component especially at the individual agency level.
In this brief video Dr. David Williams from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement identifies three challenges that must be overcome to establish a culture of safety within an organization:
The biggest challenge, in my opinion, is having the will to actually make the change. People tend to be against change with a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. Often, things are broken but because of the close proximity to the problem it often gets overlooked and labelled as “the norm”.
Once that obstacle is overcome, the next big challenge is on finding improvements. The first step to finding improvements is in collecting the data on the issues and that’s the purpose of the EMS Voluntary Event Notification Tool (EVENT). Although it is still being developed, the hope is that with the data collected in E.V.E.N.T. trends can be identified and recommendations can be made to improve the quality of care and the workplace by improving the safety practices of EMS as an industry through effective change.