Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Integrating Change Across the Healthcare Industry
Jeff White, M.S., MTSP-C, FP-C
Director of Safety, HealthNet Aeromedical Services
Attempting to get in front of the coming changes to EMS as an industry and implement safety regulations from aeromedical, general industry, transport and healthcare is no easy feat.
We have faced a multitude of challenges attempting to change the culture and mindset of EMS providers being guided by the National Strategy for an EMS Safety Culture released in 2013 by NHTSA and NEMSAC. It appears that EMS, as an industry, is going to be required to lead the charge in evolving the mindset and culture of hospitals and the insurance industry to advance all the needed safety and operational changes for EMS providers.
When EMS began, it was merely a transport service with very little focus on bettering patient care. Over the last 40 years, our mission and responsibilities have dramatically changed and continue to grow. While our operational scope has changed, the insurance industry and hospitals view of us has changed very little.
We must get them to invest in our process as we begin molding our industry into mainstream healthcare and away from just strictly transport. This will ensure a
strong working partnership that will ultimately benefit our patients and EMS field
The other hurdle we will face is regulation. There is no single agency governing EMS. We as an industry must come together and assist in the development of a governing body before it is done for us. Among the organizations trying to take the lead are AAMS, NAEMSMA, NAEMT and NREMT. The challenge is getting all these agencies on the same page. We need to find a way to take care of ourselves which will lead to even better care of our patients. Isn’t that why we all got into this?