EMS-Q: Improving Emergency Medical Service Quality

Article

Alloway, James A.   (1992, ASQC)   Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-1240

Annual Quality Congress, Nashville TN    Vol. 46    No. 0
QICID: 9927    May 1992    pp. 1006-1012
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Article Abstract

Quality improvement tools offer EMTs an active role in training, with a chance to improve their work system and increased interaction with the rest of the trauma team. These tools also improve teamwork while reducing costs.

Injury assessment can be improved using computer simulation to instruct and drill technicians. Statistical tools like sampling, SPC, and DOE reduce variation in treatment by enhancing the EMT's ability to perform accurate triage on patients when limited bed space is available. Operation analysis uses process and flow charts to identify the different operations, delays, transports, inspections, and storages that comprise EMT activity. Motion study techniques divide each of these tasks further, simplifying them to discover the best method. Careful performance monitoring is based on clearly defined nonconformities and appropriate control limits (determined after at least 25 subgroups have been plotted). Demerit charts recognize that some errors are more serious than others. Acceptance sampling can reduce the amount of time needed for audits.

Using these tools minimizes EMT and patient risk. Applying motion study to endotracheal entubation tasks reduced the time to completion by 10% and permitted the EMT to maintain continuous control of the ET tube. Quality tools clearly improve emergency medical service quality.

Keywords

Flowcharts,Emergency medical service (EMS),Design of experiments (DOE),Control charts,Statistical process control (SPC),Health care,Syracuse University


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