Monday, June 8, 2009

EMS Resource Allocation...

... or how to get the right stuff to the right people right away...

A recent post on The Happy Medics Blog got me thinking about how we do things here in EMS world. Please take a moment to follow the link and read Happy Medics well written, thoughtful post- no sense in me re-hashing it.

We all know that EMS calls run the gamut from "You didn't really call 911 for this" to "Wow, you're really sick dude!" with most in the former category.

So here is how we USED to handle 911 calls around here:

  • The Paramedics could of course, treat and transport the patient irregardless of their complaint. No jokes please about how many Medics does it take to transport a sore thumb- around here the answer is two...
  • The Medics could call for a BLS Ambulance- so the sore thumbs and other appendages still found their way to the ER but the City got to keep its ALS crew in service. Sounds good- except our BLS crews were all let go for budgetary reasons... so scratch this option
  • We could call for "alternative transport"- the Wheel Chair Van. This was great for folks going to clinics or doctors appointments who had somehow been misdirected to 911. But again, the ol' WCV was a victim of the mighty cost cutting sword- gone...
So what to do with all these "patients" with bumps, bruises and other minor complaints and chronic non acute illnesses? Of course- after an assessment, they climb in the back of a full ALS crewed ambulance for a cab ride to the ER.

Anyone who has been in the EMS field for very long knows the frustration that comes from hearing potential life threatening calls being dispatched while transporting Grandpa with a tender nut. Remember how you felt the first time you sliced and diced rush hour traffic to get cross town to that CHF patient- when the ambulance in her distrct was transporting a kid with "itchy legs"? Oh yeah- you remember...

Will things ever change? Sure, but probably not for the better. Because EMS is, without a doubt, the fish that stinks from the head.

2 comments:

The Happy Medic said...

"while transporting Grandpa with a tender nut."

Do we work together?

Thanks for the nod, I plan on reading up on your blog waiting for Medic999 on EMS garage tonight.

HM

Paramedic Program said...

Thanks for share your experience !!!