It has been much more than a month, but we will return to featuring a monthly profile of High Performance EMS sites in order to inspire others to reach beyond just compliant services to provide advanced out-of-hospital care while focusing on improved efficiency. This time, our spotlight is on Sedgwick County Emergency Medical Service of Kansas.
The public EMS agency in Sedgwick County is responsible for ALS out-of-hospital care and transportation for both acutely ill and injured patients as well as providing scheduled ambulance transportation services within an area of 1,008 square miles serving a population of approximately 498,000 residents. In 2010, Sedgwick County EMS responded to 52,815 calls for service. They are also proud to be part of an elite group of CAAS accredited agencies across the nation signifying that they have voluntarily met the “gold standard” determined by the ambulance industry to be essential in a modern EMS provider. The CAAS standards, which often exceed those established by state or local regulation, also define High Performance EMS as they are designed to increase operational efficiency and clinical quality while decreasing risk and liability to the organization.
In addition to efficient performance, another hallmark of a High Performance EMS provider is community involvement. Sedgwick County EMS is a regional BLS Training Center for the American Heart Association teaching CPR classes and frequently participates in local school programs by visiting classrooms to educate children on accessing the emergency system and demonstrating their equipment to make students more familiar with EMS should they ever need to access it.
This past summer, Sedgwick County EMS was selected as a 2011 “Health Care Hero” by the Wichita Business Journal. The award was given in the health care innovations category which honors a person or organization for breakthroughs in medical technology ranging from research to a new procedure, device or service. In addition, Sedgwick County EMS received the 2011 advanced life support (ALS) Ambulance Service of the Year award from the Kansas Emergency Medical Service Association (KEMSA) in recognition for promoting EMS in Kansas. These honors recognize Sedgwick County EMS for the implementation a number of software upgrades that improved automated scheduling, patient care reporting, and deployment practices, among others.
Sedgwick County EMS Director Scott Hadley said in an EMSWorld article this week, “We needed a communications platform and software solution that would support our latest enhancements and upgrades to dispatch and deployment practices, automated scheduling, and patient care reporting for the entire health care system. In Motion Technology and Bradshaw Consulting Services are providing us with the tools we needed to support our mobile healthcare technology to benefit the citizens of Sedgwick County.”
Showing that properly implemented System Status Management can ensure the right response at the right time, Hadley says, “EMS crews have been hitting their goal of getting to destinations in less than nine minutes more than 90 percent of the time for 24 straight months. That means technology is doing what it’s supposed to do and furthering the mission of the agency.” Demonstrating the final component of a successful High Performance EMS, Hadley says “it’s our responsibility to continually improve our patient care.”