EMS 2.0

Posted: January 12, 2012 in EMS
Tags: , ,

This is a topic making its way around the social media sites and blogsphere. Not many people know about it though unless they read certain blogs. I can provide a list if anyone wants.

EMS 2.0 is basically a remapping of the current EMS system. It focuses primarily on ALS, but I think us supposedly lowly EMTs can learn from it as well. And I have posted on this before, so if you have read my blog Flawed, then you don’t need to read this if you wish.

The current system teaches us that all patients(PTs) NEED to go to the emergency department(ED). Why though? If someone has a stubbed toe, or has had abdominal pain for the past month, why should they go to the ED? An Urgent Care Clinic or their own doctor would be so much better for this!! I think EMS providers should be trained in recognizing certain illnesses and injuries that do not require an ED, and be able to transport them to an Urgent Care.  I don’t know how many times I have had to take a PT in to the ED, just to have the staff get upset with ME over them being there. Yes, abdominal pain can be deadly in some circumstances, but if you have had it for the past 12 hours, and are walking straight with no tenderness, then you do not need to go to an ED. If it suddenly started, and it feels like your inside are being ripped apart, well, they be being ripped apart and you need immediate lifesaving help, otherwise known as an ED.  Some EDs will take, and put a PT into the waiting room when they come in by ambulance, if they do not need immediate life saving treatment, which is awesome!

Still confused? OK, think of it this way, for some reason, something happened to you, you got in accident, fell off of a ladder, tripped and hit your head. 911 is called, we come, do our thing, and rush you to the hospital so you can at least be checked over. All fine things as who knows what is going on, somethings we can not do in the field like a CT Scan. But now, here you are at the ED, waiting, and waiting, and waiting. You complain about how long it takes to get your CT scan results read, so you can be released and go back to whatever it was you had been doing. Well, chances are that it is taking so long, because there are a few PTs there with the sniffles or an upset stomach, and think they are more important then you. If they had gone to an Urgent Care, chances are you may have been able to be seen faster. Now, you may be waiting because someone worse then you came in, and this should be the case if triage is working correctly.

Other people abuse ambulances them selves. Like the PT on Medicare/Medicade/self-pay, with a flu, requesting to go to a hospital on the other side of the county, when we have to drive past two other hospitals to get there. What can we do about that? For starters, take them to an Urgent Care! Maybe ask them, politely of course, if they want to go by ambulance and get the bill, or if they want to have a friend or family member drive them? Obviously we can not refuse to transport someone who is not a threat to us, because if that was an option, someone somewhere would abuse it and a PT would die.

How can this affect us EMT-Bs  you ask? I think if ALS can choose whether a PT needs an ED, or an UC, then we should be able to gain some privileges as well. Now this applies mainly to NY, as everyone is different. I think we should be able to drop a King Airway, start an IV so the ED has access, and a few other things I can’t think of right now.

If you are new to my blog, and do not know the levels of EMS, here is a general outline.

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