This article is sponsored by Ferno’s 2020 Vision series.
If you had your wishes, where would EMS be in 2020? It’s a tough question that involves prioritizing what’s most important to you while also using your creative juices to envision yourself in a completely new world.
Would your vision focus on a systems model for EMS or on culture of safety? Would it include patient-oriented and provider-friendly care, additional education, or technology that provides you with more detailed patient information the minute a call comes in and allows you to check in on patients remotely once they’ve transitioned from your care?
These are some of the things introduced by the first group of participants filmed for the print- and Web-based 2020 Vision program, sponsored by Ferno, which asks visionaries in the industry to not just ponder these questions and their answers, but also to come up with the steps that would be required to turn them into reality. This first group of visionaries participating in the 2020 leadership series, so named as a forecast of what could be possible in EMS by the year 2020, included James J. Augustine, MD, FACEP; David Page, MS, NREMT-P; Matt Zavadsky, MS-HSA, EMT; and moderator A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P. They envisioned a 2020 that included all of these things—with integration of EMS into the overall health system.
“We are the integrated, mobile healthcare solution that’s part of the master healthcare system,” Zavadsky said. “So we are just not the prehospital, not the out-of-hospital, not the after-hospital. We are integrated as part of the health system from both the preventative side from the episodic side, the unscheduled side, the after-care side and most importantly the technology side.”
Augustine took it a step further. “Imagine in 2020 that we don’t have to use the hospital as the center of the healthcare system. Imagine if we could just say wherever they choose to be is the center of the healthcare system.
Healthcare Forecasts: Hot with a chance of snakebites
Today’s weather may be mild with a chance of showers, but what will tomorrow be like? The 2020 visionaries postulated that an integrated healthcare industry will take a cue from the weather industry when prepping its providers for their workdays. They envision local, regional & national forecasts with updates on whether your patients are at risk for such things as snakebites or influenza, virus exposure, skin cancer due to weather conditions or respiratory distress due to smog in the environment.
Increased Value of EMS
If EMS is an integrated part of a healthcare system where the hospital is no longer at the center, would the value of EMS inherently increase? In 2020, Zavadsky sees providers who are paid for the value they bring to the patient. Going hand-in-hand with the new focus of healthcare reform on increasing overall efficiency, the value that EMS providers bring to an integrated, more mobile system would be based on getting the right patient to the right place at the right cost.
Heightman envisions a future in which EMS is more valuable, and providers can work just 40 hours a week. This allows them to and spend the other 20 hours they are now at work undertaking educational endeavors. And in 2020, they can put on a pair of glasses that and watch an educational video, take a seat at their pool, and learn things in a fun way that doesn’t take them away from their family.
Page sees providers improving their knowledge not based on cookie-cutter expectations, but rather on what they personally need. By 2020, he envisions that education incorporates credentials into education so EMS is recognized and respected for the job that it’s doing.
To watch segments of the Ferno 2020 Vision Series, go to ems2020vision.com.