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NAEMT Report: Patient Safety Organizations Key to Advancing Just Culture for EMS


Clinton, Miss. - NAEMT has published Patient Safety in EMS, a new report to help the EMS community understand the important role of Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) in supporting a just culture environment and improved safety policies.

The report details the evolution of patient safety activities and concludes that PSOs are at the core of enhancing patient safety because they support an environment conducive to reporting safety issues. With the overall goal of reducing patient safety incidents, collecting reports on adverse safety incidents in greater volume would help drive improvements in EMS protocols and become the evidence base for policy changes at the state and federal levels.

PSOs enable EMS practitioners to learn from the experiences of others and openly discuss observations and issues in a protective setting. While participation in PSOs is not mandated, NAEMT believes "EMS agencies can become members of PSOs and not only achieve protection for their own processes, but also benefit from the collective knowledge provided by PSOs and their members." 

Stemming from its mission to keep patients and EMS practitioners safe, NAEMT has both led and participated in discussions and initiatives with national EMS leaders to encourage the reporting of patient safety issues within the EMS community.

"Patient safety legislation has been passed by Congress to better serve the healthcare community and its patients, however, there must be a broader acceptance of accountability by EMS practitioners and agencies to achieve just culture and standards of behavior for the safety of our patients," says NAEMT President Conrad "Chuck" Kearns. "Promoting the anonymous EVENT incident reporting system, EMS Safety education, NAEMT's patient and EMS practitioner Bill of Rights, collaborations with national EMS organizations and providing safety resources are among the many ways we are helping to advance patient safety through awareness and information gathering."

NAEMT's Patient Safety in EMS report is available online.


Formed in 1975 and more than 55,000 members strong, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) is the only national association representing the professional interests of all emergency and mobile healthcare practitioners. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government agencies, fire departments, hospital-based ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.

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