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Industry Leaders Join EMS COMPASS To Lead Discussions on Shaping the Future of EMS System Improvement

Jun 17, 2015

The following is taken from a June 16 EMS COMPASS press release.

In two webinars Monday, EMS Compass kicked off a week of public discussion of how best to measure the quality of EMS services. These first two of ten webinars tackled the topics of measuring patient and family engagement and measuring patient safety.

The EMS Compass Initiative project manager, Nick Nudell, kicked off each session with an introduction of the initiative, and then moderated a discussion among industry experts. Each session also featured several questions and comments from webinar attendees.

During the first webinar, Sally McCabe, a veteran Empathy Coach and the founder of Compassion2Compliance, discussed how and why the patient experience is being measured in the industry today.

“Why does empathy matter? [Because] In just about every study… patient perceived empathy results in improved outcomes,” McCabe said. “Probably one of the best measures of a provider’s empathy is how he or she reacts to a person who’s in pain.”

The second panel included paramedic Dr. Daniel Patterson, Senior Scientist at Carolinas Healthcare System, and Dr. Doug Kupas, EMS medical director for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Dr. David Williams, a former paramedic and chair of the EMS Compass Measurement Design Group, also answered several questions from the audience.

Kupas told the story of how Pennsylvania looked at the medical literature and decided to require capnography for all intubated patients, and how that could lead to a performance measure. “By measuring a process that’s been demonstrated to improve patient safety, rather than only measuring adverse events (e.g., esophageal intubations), it might be possible to prevent mistakes before they occur," Kupas said.

EMS Compass will host eight more webinars this week that will tackle the other domains of performance measurement. Various industry leaders, listed below, will be providing input and examples to illustrate how the use of performance measures can increase the quality of patient care across these various subject areas.

Register now for any or all of the meetings and visit to learn more about performance measurement and the Initiative scope and process. If you are not able to attend the live events, the webinars will be available for viewing at your convenience at


Webinar schedule and registration:

EMS Workforce:  

June 17, 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT; Noon MT; 11 a.m. PT)

  • Dr. Daniel Patterson, MPH, PhD, Senior Scientist at Carolinas Health System  
EMS Fleet:

June 17, 4 p.m. ET (3 p.m. CT; 2 p.m. MT; 1 p.m. PT)

  • Dan Fellows, Fleet Manager, Richmond Ambulance Authority 
  • Mark Postma, Chief Operating Officer, Sunstar

EMS Data:
June 18, 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT; Noon MT; 11 a.m. PT)

  • Todd Stout, Founder and President First Watch
  • Lindsey Narloch, EMS Data Manager at North Dakota Department of Health

EMS Finance:
June 18, 4 p.m. ET (3 p.m. CT; 2 p.m. MT; 1 p.m. PT)

  • Jon Washko, MBA, NREMT-P, AEMD, Assistant Vice President, North Shore, LIJ Center for EMS
  • Rick Keller, Founding Partner, Fitch & Associates


For more information about EMS Compass or to volunteer to be involved in the national effort, sign up to receive updates at, and follow the initiative on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (@EMSCompass).