The High Performance EMS we examine this month is Jersey City Medical Center EMS located just across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan. It is a triply accredited service, receiving the CAAS, NAED’s ACE, and CoAEMSP accreditations all in the same year. As a part of the LibertyHealth System, it serves the residents, workers, and visitors of Hudson County, NJ by responding to nearly 90,000 calls a year. JCMC EMS provides both Basic and Advanced Life Support as well as services for special operations, neonatal transfers, critical care inter-facility transports, regional EMS communications, and more.
Few modern ambulance services can claim over 100 years of history, but this organization has been providing prompt, professional pre-hospital care since the days of taking patients to the Medical Center in horse-drawn ambulances. Today, however, JCMC EMS is one of the most technically advanced EMS agencies in the country with an impressive response time averaging 6:02 – well below the 7:59 city standard.
Richard Sposa, EMS Communications Coordinator at JCMC EMS, describes how they continually improve their service saying “positive patient outcomes are the goal for any EMS agency, and at Jersey City Medical Center, it is our guiding light. The Jersey City Medical Center’s EMS Department has taken a leadership role in positive patient outcomes by examining real life scenarios.” More specifically Sposa says, “we made a self-realization in 2005 that the system as a whole was in need of improvement in a multitude of areas, and the most notable were our response time and asset deployment. With the help of Bradshaw Consulting Services and the MARVLIS system we were able, in less than a years time, to reduce our response by over two minutes.”
The MARVLIS application forecasts demand dynamically and displays the probability of incoming calls as a colored surface. As paramedic David Pernell describes it, they “chase the blob” likening the constantly updating application to an animated weather forecast showing upcoming need allowing resources to be better deployed when called upon.
“With an in-house study we have undertaken,” said Sposa, “we have seen that the drop in response time has improved patient survivability. With the data collected so far we hypothesize that by reducing our response time by two minutes we will have the ability to return pulses to as many as thirty more patients a year.” What more could be said about high performance in EMS!