Pinnacle: Envisioning a Better Future for EMS

Pinnacle: Envisioning a Better Future for EMS

By Valerie Amato Aug 10, 2017

“The goal is to be Jetsonian, not Flintstonian,” said Mike Taigman, MA in regards to the need to be forward-thinking in order to further develop the future of EMS.

Taigman was joined by Jon Krohmer, MD to present “Envisioning EMS in 2050: Creating a Foundation for the Future,” at the Pinnacle EMS conference today in Boca Raton, Florida. They discussed the origins of EMS, its gradual development, and how personnel can continue enhancing the quality of EMS care moving forward.

EMS has come a long way since its beginnings, when funeral home services were used for patient transports and the term ‘prehospital care’ bore little resemblance to what it now encompasses today. Krohmer touched on the television series Emergency! which featured firefighters who were specially trained in paramedicine.

This show made the public more aware of prehospital care provided by EMS. Viewers were under the impression that the ALS provided by paramedics on the show was the standard of care they were receiving in their own communities, but at the time, EMS was far from utilizing that advanced level of care.

In 1996, the EMS Education Agenda for the Future was published, outlining the desired objectives for developing the quality of care in EMS in the coming years. EMS became known as the intersection of public health, healthcare, and public safety. Now that 20 years have passed since the release of the 1996 agenda, EMS leaders are again looking at what developments can be made in the next 20 years.

Taigman is one of the many leaders actively pursuing those developments for the future of EMS. He describes this pursuit among EMS personnel as an “exercise of collective dreaming.” Since last fall, 10 members of a technical expert panel have been working towards this goal. However, these plans are not limited to the experts. They believe these plans should be made in an open, collaborative process, inviting personnel of all levels in EMS to contribute their ideas of an improved future for prehospital emergency care.

Members of the panel say their mission is to be deep listeners, aspiring dreamers, and to synthesize the contributions received for this developing agenda into a cohesive document. The final draft of the agenda is targeting 2018 as the time of publication.

Taigman emphasized the importance of resisting “the urge to be mired in the problems of today,” and instead be thinking progressively, reinforcing the idea of being Jetsonian as opposed to Flintstonian. He and Krohmer encouraged EMS personnel to consider the following questions when evaluating what they want for the future of emergency medicine:

  • What could true “people-centered” care really mean for the future of EMS?
  • What things do you see today that are not people-centered?
  • What’s one piece of cool technology that has not been invented yet that you’d love to see in EMS to enhance your work?
  • What would a fully integrated, seamless EMS/healthcare system be able to do for people that we can’t do today?
  • What would be the components of a truly safe EMS system – safe for patients, families, the public, and providers?

Interested in sharing your ideas on paving the way for a better future in EMS?

EMS Agenda 2050 wants to hear them! Visit their website and submit your Jetsonian visions of improving EMS. 

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