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NASEMSO Awarded Two Projects to Improve EMS Clinical Guidelines

Dec 20, 2012

Two new initiatives intended to enhance clinical guidelines for emergency medical services (EMS) are being launched by the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO), thanks to funding provided by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Office of EMS and HRSA’s EMS for Children (EMSC) Program. Together, the Projects are supportive of the goal of Evidence-based EMS Practice to ultimately improve the quality of patient care.

The Model EMS Clinical Guidelines project, initiated by the Medical Directors Council, was awarded to NASEMSO under its umbrella cooperative agreement with NHTSA. This initiative is a 2-year undertaking to develop a core set of medical guidelines to help state EMS systems ensure a more standardized approach to the practice of patient care and to incorporate evidence-based guidelines as they become available. The project team is comprised of a small group of members of the NASEMSO Medical Directors Council and representatives of national organizations that focus on the clinical aspects of emergency medical services. Multiple opportunities for input from EMS providers in the field are incorporated into the project. The effort entails the development of a core set of clinical guidelines which will be offered as an optional model for state, regional and local EMS systems to adopt. Standardizing guidelines is intended to enhance the ability of EMS providers to move across systems, improve EMS data collection and analysis, and provide the most current standards of practice for prehospital care. Co-Principal Investigators are Carol Cunningham, MD (Ohio EMS Medical Director) and Richard Kamin, MD (Connecticut EMS Medical Director).

The Statewide Implementation of a Prehospital Care Guideline project was awarded to NASEMSO through a competitive application process. The objective of this grant is to support the use and further refinement of the National Evidence-Based Guideline (EBG) Model Process, developed under the auspices of the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS) and the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC). Using a Pain Management Guideline (with special attention paid to pediatric patients), this project will focus on the last three steps of the EBG Model Process: Dissemination, Implementation and Evaluation. Five states will be chosen to participate in this project; the states will be chosen with the purpose of achieving diversity in EMS configurations, to include areas with mandatory protocols, voluntary model guidelines and no statewide guidelines. The Co-Principal Investigators of this three year effort are J. Matthew Sholl, MD (Maine EMS Medical Director) and Peter Taillac, MD (Utah EMS Medical Director).