While the issue of Electronic Medical Records and physicians seems a little off base for an EMS blog, the reality is that their use and adoption is occuring throughout all levels of healthcare. This includes the prehospital arena and intrafacility transport systems. Insurance information capture is now stressed with most ambulance systems, both […]
What really blows my mind is that the system we currently operate in does not mandate any minimum standards for providers (mainly BLS, as ALS is in my opinion OVER regulated), does not require an ambulance to be licensed by the Department of Health nor meet any minimum standards, nor mandate minimum response times. Better yet, EMS in New Jersey isn’t even considered an essential service like police, fire, and municipal services are. It’s simply, sickening.
Years ago I was working with New York City as an EMT out of Queens General Hospital. I remember being in shock after picking up an otherwise non-ill appearing man who gave a complaint that I currently cannot recall. We took him in a city ambulance to the local hospital. The part that shocked me was that he never entered the hospital. He thanked us and proceeded to go across the street to do his shopping. He never was sick and never intended to enter the ED doors. We served as free transportation for him.
Beginning January, 2011, a Medical Director is required for all ambulance services in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Additionally, the ability to contact Medical Command is required of all ambulance services as well. This seems as if we are heading in the right direction regarding oversight. Up until now, AEDs were optional for BLS ambulance services. The mandate that they are onboard has prompted the need for having a Medical Director. Hopefully, this will generate some quality control. Hopefully, this will not be a localized step forward in one individual state.
Jordan Barnett, MD, is an Emergency Medicine Physician in the Philadelphia Suburban Region. He has previously worked as a volunteer firefighter, was a member of New York City EMS, and provides Medical Command for several ALS Ambulance Services. Dr Barnett provides EMS consultation services. Additionally, he is actively involved with EMS education.