Over the last couple of years, our international faculty has begun to organize regionally with annual meetings that look at issues specific to their region. They’re playing a larger role in countries throughout their region, developing sites and providing faculty for training. These meetings also provide working groups that assist in translating materials, providing input on content and developing quality assessment/quality improvement (QA/QI) initiatives that the entire international network of faculty will benefit from.
In February, the first-ever PHTLS Latin America meeting was held in Quito, Ecuador. The group collaborated in translating PowerPoint presentations for all of the PHTLS courses and made plans to assist one another and new countries coming into the program. The group will meet again in September 2012 in Uruguay. This collaboration has already borne fruit. In September, dozens of representatives from PHTLS faculty in nine countries came together in Quito for a PHTLS/TCCC rollout. Faculty that had trained in PHTLS-sponsored TCCC programs in the U.S. and Latin America conducted an initial course for faculty candidates and then monitored the new faculty in a teach-back at a second course. This kind of collaboration will help in making PHTLS relevant to their environments and allow us to benefit from the enthusiasm and skills of our Latin American faculty on an international level.
PHTLS Europe has met several times in Europe and the U.S. and plans to meet again in February 2012 in Wiesbaden, Germany. The group has been instrumental in providing feedback and content for the 7th edition and has assisted with promulgation into Eastern Europe and Asia. They also have put together work groups to look at development issues and a QA/QI meeting will be held in the U.K. in December to work on some practices for application in all PHTLS activities. With a standing TCCC faculty in Spain, and new instructors trained from France, Switzerland and Italy, we hope to run a European TCCC rollout in Europe as we did in South America.
We are hoping we will soon have a Middle East/Northern Africa region to continue building regional working groups to help program growth and accountability.
New things on the horizon for PHTLS include a Trauma Symposium. This full day of trauma lectures and panels will premiere at EMS World Expo in New Orleans next October and we hope to run it every other year. We will assemble trauma experts from all over the world to present and participate in a panel discussion, which will include audience questions.
We will continue to enhance our online offerings with a refresher and instructor update feature in the future. We also hope to have smaller trauma-related CE options.
PHTLS continues to grow with the help of enthusiastic faculty all over the world. We are reviewing research, publishing reviews and aggressively pursuing every opportunity to make our program more accountable to our patients and the providers who care for them.
Will Chapleau, EMT-P, RN, TNS, is manager of the ATLS Program for the American College of Surgeons and a member of the EMS World editorial advisory board.