Emergency Services Committee

State: MO Type: Model Practice Year: 2008

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The following objectives were developed to improve communication and collaboration among all involved agencies in order to plan and be better prepared to respond to routine and complex situations and emergencies.

Goals and Objectives: Ensure cooperation and communication exist among American Medical Response, Independence Health Department, Independence Police Department, Independence Fire Department, Emergency Preparedness, Centerpoint Medical Center, and other ambulance services in order to effectively plan and participate in exercises and events, planned or actual, and to better serve the community of Independence.Ensure appropriate standards of care by ensuring adequate training requirements are met, including the use of emergency medical communications and certification requirements. Provide recommendations to the Health Director in areas such as medical protocols to serve as the required standard of care. Perform medical reviews on specific incidents and identify potential areas of improvement in the delivery of emergency medical care. Ensure appropriate response times and consistent standards of care are met. Define and enforce violations of regulations and standards of performance .

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Independence City Health Department
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Emergency Services Committee
The following objectives were developed to improve communication and collaboration among all involved agencies in order to plan and be better prepared to respond to routine and complex situations and emergencies. Goals and Objectives: Ensure cooperation and communication exist among American Medical Response, Independence Health Department, Independence Police Department, Independence Fire Department, Emergency Preparedness, Centerpoint Medical Center, and other ambulance services in order to effectively plan and participate in exercises and events, planned or actual, and to better serve the community of Independence.Ensure appropriate standards of care by ensuring adequate training requirements are met, including the use of emergency medical communications and certification requirements. Provide recommendations to the Health Director in areas such as medical protocols to serve as the required standard of care. Perform medical reviews on specific incidents and identify potential areas of improvement in the delivery of emergency medical care. Ensure appropriate response times and consistent standards of care are met. Define and enforce violations of regulations and standards of performance .
Bringing this committee together to reach the goal and objectives is needed for satisfaction within the community. If the community is aware of the integration among agencies and the desire for improvement, the community will be better served. In many ways this committee addresses each of the Ten Essential Functions. However, the essential functions that most directly relate to this practice are: mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems and develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts. In order for emergency services within the city to be, at a minimum, adequate, all agencies involved in this committee must communicate routinely and ensure that policies and procedures are developed, consistent, and reviewed in order to respond and have positive outcomes and community satisfaction. Since the committee's implementation, it has identified problems, worked through them as a team, and developed better plans. Additionally, all first responders must maintain certain educational requirements per city ordinance and in order to remain certified/licensed. This portion of the ordinance ensures a competent public health and personal healthcare workforce.
Agency Community RolesThe Independence Health Department's Health Director chairs the committee and ensures that the meetings stay focused, objectives are met, issues are moving toward resolution, and appropriate communication occurs. Additionally, the Supervisor of the Communicable Disease and Epidemiology program attends to ensure that all agencies stay current with communicable disease and emergency preparedness issues occurring within the City that may impact first responders and the community. Besides the Independence Health Department, membership includes representatives from American Medical Response Ambulance Service, Independence Police Department, Independence Fire Department, Emergency Preparedness, and Centerpoint Medical Center. Each of the partners holds the responsibility for its own department and brings its own pertinent information for sharing to the table. Each agency represented overlaps with the others in its day to day routines, as well as during events, making this committee a critical part of the City of Independence infrastructure. Agenda items that directly affect policy and procedures of the City of Independence departments (health, police, and fire) and those whose regulation is written into city ordinance (American Medical Response) must have worked together at the committee meetings to prepare a proposal and then presented these requested changes the Independence City Council for approval. Upon approval, changes can be implemented. Costs and ExpendituresIn 1994, Independence Regional Health Center (currently Centerpoint Medical Center) was asked by the state of Missouri to host a new committee to address emergency medical service issues in the City of Independence. The Emergency Services Committee was established by the passage of Ordinance No. 13614 on May 5, 1997. The Emergency Services Committee was to serve as an advisory board to promote the goal of high quality pre-hospital emergency care and ensure that response protocols were consistent between American Medical Response and the Fire Department. Emergency medical service (EMS) related issues, as well as trauma, emergency preparedness, and communicable disease issues, are discussed. Additionally, the American Medical Response monthly performance report is reviewed to ensure that calls were handled appropriately, in a timely manner depending on priority, and that proper communication occurred among agencies. Membership includes representatives from Independence Health Department, American Medical Response Ambulance Service, Independence Police Department, Independence Fire Department, Emergency Preparedness, and Centerpoint Medical Center, specifically physicians who actively participate in the care of acutely ill patients at hospitals located within Independence. The committee is chaired by the Director of the Independence Health Department and meets monthly. ImplementationIn 1994, Independence Regional Health Center (currently Centerpoint Medical Center) was asked by the state of Missouri to create a new committee to address emergency medical service issues in City of Independence. Independence Regional Health Center led this collaborative effort and gathered several disciplines within the city that would make up this committee that was started to regulate and assess the local ambulance service. Since the committee would be chaired by the health director of the Independence Health Department, the City of Independence established the Emergency Services Committee by the passage of Ordinance No. 13614 on May 5, 1997. In the beginning, the Emergency Services Committee was to serve as an advisory board to promote the goal of high-quality pre-hospital emergency care and ensure that response protocols were consistent between American Medical Response and the Fire Department. EMS-related issues and ways to improve were discussed, but as the needs of the City has changed and evolved so has the purpose and goals. The committee now also meets to discuss trauma, emergency preparedness, and communicable disease issues that impact the citizens of Independence and the agencies involved. The committee helps to plan emergency preparedness exercises, ensure coordination and communication during outbreaks or events, and to collaborate on various community education programs. American Medical Response also participates in First Watch, a surveillance system used by the health department to assist with identifying clusters of disease or deaths within the City. Additionally, the American Medical Response monthly performance report and any pertinent First Watch alerts are reviewed to ensure that calls were handled appropriately, in a timely manner, and that proper communication occurred among agencies. Since all involved agencies are present, prompt resolution and discussion can occur at the meeting. By bringing this group of agencies together, planned goals and objectives can be effectively met, and rapport and trust are built. Attendance is supported by all agencies involved and is also required by city ordinance. The committee meets monthly, or sooner if needed, to ensure timely resolution of issues and objectives.
Stronger working relationships among American Medical Response, Independence Health Department, Independence Police Department, Independence Fire Department, Emergency Preparedness, and Centerpoint Medical Center. Forum to plan and encourage participation in exercises and share relevant emergency preparedness and communicable disease related information that may affect first responders or the community. Community satisfaction as evidenced by satisfaction surveys. Assurance that goal of high-quality pre-hospital emergency care is being met. Development of congruent protocols between the Fire Department and American Medical Response. Development of an Outbreak Investigation Team with designation members from each agency. Development of the Emergency Response Medical Advisory Committee, a medical advisory board to support health department activities. Participation in First Watch surveillance system; joint agreement between the Independence Health Department and American Medical Response. Increased the training requirements for all City of Independence staff in the fire, police, and health departments. Support and recommendations in purchasing advanced equipment.
The Emergency Services Committee has been meeting for more than 10 years. Though staff has changed, each agency has always been represented and must be as outlined by city Ordinance. Participation in the meeting has grown to include physicians and multiple staff from each agency. The committee will continue to meet as it is required and vital to satisfaction of the community and the Independence City Council. Additionally, the meeting addresses ongoing ways to improve, and with new technology and emerging infections, goals of the committee will continue to grow in order to satisfy the population and the goals of the committee.
 
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