This has been a busy time for the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). We recently wrapped up EMS Week 2019—the 45th anniversary of EMS Week, first proclaimed by President Gerald Ford in 1974. This year’s theme, “EMS Strong: Beyond the Call,” had a special meaning for EMS providers, as it highlighted all the activities that continue after the 9-1-1 call is completed. The community care and involvement and care for your fellow providers doesn’t end with the shift.
This was also the 19th year EMS for Children Day has been celebrated during EMS Week. EMSC Day has been instrumental in increasing awareness of the special and unique needs of pediatric patients. Find additional information on EMS Week and the yearlong public education campaign EMS Strong at www.acep.org/emsweek and www.emsstrong.org.
Toward Quality Measures
ACEP is proud to continue to provide support to the National EMS Quality Alliance (NEMSQA), which is taking the next steps in the excellent work begun by the EMS Compass project. Through financial support from NHTSA, the alliance has moved forward in the development of quality measures for EMS. Find additional information at www.nemsqa.org.
New Research Opportunity
We are also pleased to share information regarding a new EMS research opportunity between the Emergency Medicine Foundation and National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP). Through this collaboration, research grants targeted at EMS topics can be funded when there is a partnership between an emergency physician and an EMS professional. They must serve as co-principal investigators. This is an excellent opportunity to both advance EMS research and provide EMS professionals leadership roles in the process. Find additional information at www.emfoundation.org/grantees/current-grantees/.
ACEP is pleased to continue to partner with NAEMT to sponsor the National EMS Safety Council and work with other EMS organizations on important safety issues. This year the council developed Guide for Developing an EMS Agency Safety Program, available for free download.
The council is also working to promote the EVENT anonymous reporting system for safety incidents, near-misses, and violence against EMS practitioners, and it’s participating in the EMS Safety Officer training course held during EMS World Expo by reviewing lecture topics and speakers. We will continue to promote “Safety Tuesday” this year during EMS Week to highlight awareness of EMS safety at all levels.
Support for EMS
The EMS and Disaster Preparedness Department is an integral component of the ACEP’s Policy Division and serves as a resource for emergency physicians and EMS medical directors, as well as the EMS community. ACEP has made a strong commitment to supporting EMS through its physician members and staff. Services the college provides the EMS community include:
As a recognized authority on emergency medicine and EMS medical direction, supporting issues of common cause;
Supporting federal and state programs and legislation to further injury prevention;
Working to ensure the continued availability of high-quality prehospital emergency care;
Promoting evidence-based research on clinical practice and prehospital emergency care;
Serving as a clearinghouse on emergency medicine, EMS medical direction, and related issues.
The ACEP EMS Committee reports the board of directors and develops EMS policy statement and advises the board on EMS issues. The EMS Committee will work on a number of projects this coming year, developing resources for EMS medical directors regarding the new CMS Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) demonstration project; continuing work against EMS drug shortages; working with the DEA to develop policies and procedures related to passage of the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2017; developing resources for EMS fellows completing their fellowships; exploring the development of CPT reimbursement codes for community paramedicine and mobile integrated healthcare; and continuing to promote and implement the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report A National Trauma System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury.
The ACEP Disaster Preparedness and Response Committee will work on projects this year that include identifying collaboration opportunities with national and international disaster response organizations; collaboration with the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Committee to identify pediatric disaster education needs; and exploring development of a disaster medicine subspecialty certification.
ACEP continues to develop policy statements and guidelines on current topics in EMS and presently has more than 40 policies that relate to EMS, disaster medicine, and associated topics. These policies are free for download and can serve as excellent references or supporting documents for EMS protocols and clinical guidelines but also for development of legislation or policy and procedures. Many of these policies are joint projects with other EMS organizations, including NAEMT, NAEMSP, NASEMSO, and ACS-COT. For more see www.acep.org/patient-care/policy-statements/.
Rick Murray, EMT-P, is director of the American College of Emergency Physicians’ EMS and Disaster Preparedness Department.