“I would recommend starting with the two scenarios where most EMS personnel have experienced the effects of poorly coordinated efforts: cardiac arrest resuscitation and high-acuity trauma scenarios. One of the most honorable traits of EMS providers is our heartfelt desire to do everything we can to ensure the best outcomes for our patients. The eagerness that seems coded in our DNA may make it hard to accept that doing the best for our patients might, in fact, require focusing on fewer things.
“This becomes an important component of training programs for this model: ensuring teams believe the overall process will improve by eliminating individual will and adopting a disciplined team approach,” Ralls continues. “Based on our study, the management of acute coronary syndromes can be improved using assigned tasks as well, and can easily be introduced along the way. The method of training will certainly depend on available resources, but I would recommend using a simulation-based model as a starting point. We were able to train our intervention group in the study to use assigned tasks in a few hours. Numerous simulated chest pain scenarios followed this. Our goal was to determine if assigned tasks would improve time metrics in the chest pain scenarios, which it did. It is possible a similar approach could be used to help define the highest-yield staffing models, etc.”
As the study shows, working faster and smarter don’t have to be mutually exclusive. That’s the kind of revelation that can turn your agency into a winning team in the race to save lives.