“EMSForward” Campaign Focuses on Culture to Increase Patient Safety Awareness in EMS

January 31, 2017    |   By: Lee Varner, MS EMS, EMT-P, CPPS

The new campaign from the Center for Patient Safety (CPS) highlights the ten safety topics that will move “EMS Forward” in 2017. The emergency medical services (EMS) safety campaign was launched January 23, in conjunction with the annual National Association of EMS Physicians conference in New Orleans.

New laws and a changing healthcare system mean EMS professionals are being called upon to change their processes. To meet these new expectations, the advancement of safety in EMS must be a focal point for EMS leadership across the nation.

“Patient safety rests with the attitudes, beliefs and perceptions of everyone across the healthcare continuum”, said Lee Varner, CPS Patient Safety Director. “This year’s campaign is about making the culture connection and identifying the importance of organizational culture when it comes to safety.”

The ten patient and provider safety topics are projected to be of greatest concern in EMS in 2017 and include areas such as bariatrics, pediatrics, and airway management.  The campaign is not an all-inclusive list of safety concerns, but rather a mechanism to drive awareness, support open dialogue, and promote improvement activities.

Each topic is delivered in a real-life scenario and concludes with a question to encourage deeper reflection on the reader’s own organizational culture. As the campaign unfolds throughout the year, CPS will provide support and resources about the topics.

“The EMS community is largely committed to improving safety, and CPS is positioned to support them,” said Alex Christgen, CPS Executive Director. “The EMS Forward campaign is one way to focus our combined efforts. Together, we’ll make an impact in a new and profound way.”

For more than 11 years, CPS has worked to improve safety for both patients and providers by providing creative culture solutions, including Patient Safety Organization (PSO) services, culture assessment services, ongoing education and consultation.

In collaboration with its EMS PSO participants, CPS developed a data system specifically for capturing the details of medical errors that occur in EMS care environments. The data from the PSO provides supporting evidence for the topic selections in this report.   

Join the EMS Forward campaign and download a free copy of the report at www.emsforward.org.

Download the full press release here.

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