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Perspective on EMS from the ZOLL Medical Director

Dr. Greg Mears, MD | Nov 8, 2012

 Although my focus as the Medical Director for ZOLL is on data, integration of software and devices, performance improvement, and ultimately clinical care, I hope this blog stimulates your thoughts and we can together explore topics within Fire and EMS operations. To keep things short and to the point, I will throw these out in this posting but come back over the next several weeks and add depth to each topic.

Lets get started…

EMS is the Practice of Medicine

As our healthcare system becomes more complex and more outcome driven, there is one thing that I feel stands clear.  EMS is much more than a friend of the community or a ride to the hospital; it is the practice of Medicine.  We are practicing medicine and have a responsibility to provide quality care based on evidence based performance measures and outcomes.

EMS Operations Often Can’t be Separated from the Medicine

Other areas of healthcare are just now beginning to figure this out through Trauma, STEMI, and Stroke Systems of Care.  We have known this from the beginning.  EMS must continue to evaluate, evolve, and integrate our operations with our clinical care.  That is the only way to maximize our impact on outcomes.

Outcomes are Difficult to Measure but Critical to our Success

There is a saying…In God we trust, all others bring data.  EMS is the most complex component of healthcare but that complexity is what allows performance improvement and outcome measurement to be successful in driving our future.  NEMSIS and our early adoption of electronic health records are incredible resources we are just beginning to ride as we takeoff on this journey.

EMS is not an Island, its the Bridge

In my opinion, EMS was the first to realize that healthcare cannot be successful if delivered in silos.  The future is in “Systems of Care”.  We are the bridge to success in performance driven healthcare.

Software & Devices are a Part of the Healthcare Team

This may be a Terminator type of thought but the machines have evolved…We are in the middle of a paradigm shift.  Devices were once tools in our tool belt we used as needed in the provision of patient care.  Devices are now much more that that…They are now a member of our healthcare team.  They provide information, guidance, insight, and a level of intelligence directly connected to positive outcomes.

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