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Leadership/Management

Association Update: National EMS Assessment Highlights NASEMSO’s Year

The National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) is a leading national organization and respected voice for national EMS policy, with comprehensive commitment to the development of effective, integrated, community-based, universal, and consistent EMS systems. Its membership consists of the leaders of state and territorial EMS systems, plus associate and corporate members. 

Recently NASEMSO has focused on development of resources in several key areas:

National EMS Assessment—The 2020 National EMS Assessment is the first set of documentation about emergency medical response personnel and agencies to be published in nearly 20 years. The 2020 assessment provides a comprehensive accounting by state/territory of the numbers and types of all 9-1-1 ambulance services and emergency medical services professionals. Find the report here

Specialty systems of care—A new report produced with support from federal partners focuses on statewide systems integration practices related to stroke and STEMI. EMS remains a point of entry for most time-sensitive emergencies, necessitating the resources of state-level agencies to coordinate and identify standards and guidelines, designate facilities as specialty centers, ensure EMS personnel have proper education to deliver effective care, and monitor quality metrics toward improving clinical outcomes.

Opioid epidemic—With support from NHTSA and the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) Emergency Medical Services for Children program, NASEMSO’s EMS medical directors, using an evidence-based process, published several new resources in 2019 to assist in dealing with the epidemic of opioid overdoses encountered by EMS personnel. Find an evidence-based guideline for the EMS administration of naloxone, performance measures to enhance the naloxone EBG, a pain-management protocol, and a learning module for the intranasal and autoinjector administration of naloxone on the association’s website.

Safe transport of children—NASEMSO is leading a collaborative research effort to improve pediatric transport outcomes through the development, validation, and publication of a family of new test methods for products focused on the safe transport of three classes of pediatric ambulance occupants: 1) supine pediatric patients; 2) seated pediatric patients or uninjured pediatric passengers; and 3) supine neonatal patients. At the completion of the testing effort, NASEMSO will pursue publication of each of the three validated test methods through the Society of Automotive Engineers. Once these are published by SAE, NASEMSO will advocate for each test method’s inclusion in the major national ambulance standards. 

Fatigue—With support and guidance from NHTSA’s behavioral research office and in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, NASEMSO published Fatigue Risk Management Guidelines for Emergency Medical Services in 2018. All accompanying materials and several implementation resources are available at www.emsfatigue.org

Crew and patient safety—In addition to NASEMSO’s work on fatigue risk management, Safeambulances.org is a compendium of ground ambulance standards and EMS safety resources identified through a partnership between NASEMSO and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. 

License mobility and reciprocity—NASEMSO assists states that wish to provide pathways for personnel to respond across state borders as part of an agency response, whether for short-term scenario-based needs or large-scale planned or unplanned events. The Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice (the EMS Compact), formerly known as REPLICA, is currently active with 20 member states and growing. Compact resources are available at www.emscompact.gov

The EMS Compact Commission approved use of the EMS Compact process effective March 16 in response to personnel needs associated with COVID-19. This decision enabled EMS personnel licensed in compact member states to cross state borders using a privilege to practice and work in other compact states without getting an EMS license in the remote state.

COVID-19—NASEMSO rounds up COVID-19 links and resources for state EMS offices on a dedicated page at https://nasemso.org/resources/covid-19/. The pandemic forced the postponement of the organization’s annual meeting.

Kathy Robinson, RN, EMT-P, QAS, is strategic partnerships director for the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO). 

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