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NAEMT Adopts New Position Statement

Mar 15, 2013

NAEMT has adopted a new position statement: Protecting EMS Patient Safety and Quality Information.

NAEMT believes that all EMS agencies should have access to and be able to use mechanisms that encourage and promote the evaluation necessary for continued improvement in the delivery of emergency patient care. Laws and regulations that protect this evaluation from legal discovery contribute to an environment conducive to learning, which is an essential component of an EMS culture of safety.

The two established mechanisms to achieve this protection are through establishing peer review protection legislation and/or participation in a listed Patient Safety Organization (PSO). It is essential that every EMS agency engage in either or both of these protections.

The statement recommends that states with peer review protection laws in place should review these laws to ensure EMS agencies and their personnel receive the same peer review protection afforded to physicians, nurses and other health care providers in their states. Such protection should extend to participation in regional activities, such as the development of regional “systems of care,” and collaboration with area hospitals.

Members of PSOs are provided federal protection from the legal discovery process for patient safety evaluation, review and improvement activities. EMS agencies can become members of PSOs and not only achieve protection of their own processes but also benefit from the collective knowledge and understanding provided by the PSO and its members. Currently, two PSOs listed in the U.S. assist EMS agencies in gathering information, learning from the data and improving patient care within a community of EMS organizations, and even across the continuum of care.

View the full position statement here.