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New NAEMT Report Identifies Patient Safety Organizations As Key To Advancing a Just Culture for EMS

Nov 18, 2016

Patient Safety in EMSClinton, Miss. — NAEMT has published Patient Safety in EMS, a new report to help the EMS community understand the important role of Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) in supporting a just culture environment and improved safety policies. The report details the evolution of patient safety activities and concludes that PSOs are at the core of enhancing patient safety because they support an environment conducive to reporting safety issues. With the overall goal of reducing patient safety incidents, collecting reports on adverse safety incidents in greater volume would help drive improvements in EMS protocols and become the evidence base for policy changes at the state and federal levels.

PSOs enable EMS practitioners to learn from the experiences of others and openly discuss observations and issues in a protective setting. While participation in PSOs is not mandated, NAEMT believes “EMS agencies can become members of PSOs and not only achieve protection for their own processes, but also benefit from the collective knowledge provided by PSOs and their members.” Stemming from our mission to keep patients and EMS practitioners safe, NAEMT has both led and participated in discussions and initiatives with national EMS leaders to encourage the reporting of patient safety issues within the EMS community.

“Patient safety legislation has been passed by Congress to better serve the healthcare community and its patients, however, there must be a broader acceptance of accountability by EMS practitioners and agencies to achieve just culture and standards of behavior for the safety of our patients,” said NAEMT President Conrad “Chuck” Kearns. “Promoting the anonymous EVENT incident reporting system, EMS Safety education, NAEMT’s patient and EMS practitioner Bill of Rights, collaborations with national EMS organizations and providing safety resources are among the many ways we are helping to advance patient safety through awareness and information gathering.”

NAEMT’s Patient Safety in EMS report is available online and we encourage all EMS professionals to share it widely and use it as a tool for policy discussions.