June 4, 2018    |   By: Eunice Halverson, MA, CPPS

Lee County EMS is awarded the EMS Patient Safety First Award

Left to Right – Field Training Officer Fred Jackson, EMS Chief, Ben Abes, Capt. Colin Johnson (Patient Safety Team Leader), Lt. Shane Rackliffe, Roger Desjarlais, Lee County Manager

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Center for Patient Safety is pleased to recognize Lee County EMS, which hosted the first EMS Patient Safety Boot Camp in March 2017, as the first recipient of the Center for Patient Safety’s EMS Patient Safety First Award. The award will be presented as part of EMS Week, May 20-26.

CPS Executive Director Alex Christgen said the award captures an organization’s “commitment and spirit to improve their safety culture and dedication for taking proactive steps in advancing the safety of their patients.”

She said Lee County EMS has taken numerous steps in this direction with several innovative approaches, including the development of a strategy and plan with specialized staff training and committee development, and as internal champions for patient safety.

Lee Varner, director of patient safety at CPS, noted, “EMS is a high-consequence industry and it requires an organization’s leadership to be actively involved in the development of a culture that is proactive and not reactive when it comes to safety.”

Varner said Lee County EMS uses methods learned in other high-risk environments, such as aviation and nuclear power, to address numerous risks in its daily work.


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