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EMS Crew Characteristics: The Providers’ Perspective On Patient Impacts—A Pilot Study

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      Background/Purpose

      Patient care and health outcomes can be significantly impacted during prehospital processes and interfacility transfers. At these times, emergency medical services (EMS) are responsible for patient care, which is driven by various factors. However, we know little about which factors contribute to optimal patient care and outcomes. From perspectives of EMS personnel, this study aimed to identify characteristics of EMS providers and transport/services perceived as most important to deliver high quality and efficient patient care.

      Methods

      This descriptive pilot study was conducted using survey methodology to collect information directly from EMS providers that are currently involved in patient transportation in Arkansas. To address study aims, the PI distributed a 23-item survey to providers dropping off patients in hospital settings. The survey included questions about participant demographics and EMS career information. Participants then ranked characteristics of EMS providers (9) and EMS transport/services (9) that are most important when it comes to high quality and effectiveness of patient care, and finally listed the top three most important factors. This survey was developed by the PI and co-investigator based on current literature and personal and research expertise. Data will be analyzed using standard statistical techniques to explore distributions and model associations among variables.

      Results/Conclusion

      Data collection is currently in process and is expected to be completed for presentation. Preliminary data collection has resulted in 17 completed surveys. Preliminary results indicate that the license level of the provider, experience, education, and equipment were characteristics perceived as most important. Up to this point, factors such as speed and mode of transport have not been perceived as important. We have also detected trends in the data that suggest transport characteristics vary between demographics, such as age, gender, and service area (rural vs. metro). We anticipate that the final results will clearly demonstrate what characteristics of EMS care most impact patient care and, hence, should be optimized in order to improve outcomes. Findings will be used to guide a future study that will use qualitative methods to gain deeper insight and possible solutions to these issues.
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