The digital landscape is changing rapidly and that presents benefits and challenges for today’s leaders. From iPad use in prehospital care scenarios and disaster responses to Twitter posts being made by first responders from the front seat of an ambulance, the digital world is here and EMS leaders need to know how to use it and how to prevent problems before they happen.
Richard Huff, EMT-B, former chief of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid and director-at-large of the National Volunteer Fire Council’s EMS/R division, addressed the challenges and opportunities that technology brings to EMS in his EMS Today Conference & Expo session, “Harnessing the Digital World: Challenges for Today’s Leaders When Everyone Has a Computer in Their Hands.”
Some quick tips Huff offered:
- Leaders must embrace technology and encourage buy-in at all levels.
- EMS leaders need to have a technology team in place and handle the changing landscape.
- Management cannot ignore the changes technology brings, because their younger employees are already using it.
- Hurricane Sandy was a game-changer in terms of the use of social media by first responders and communities to communicate during a disaster.
- iPads and tablets are at the forefront of field EMS change, with new applications and benefits for field EMS providers.
- It is imperative for EMS leaders to have policies in place for technology use on the job before problems arise.
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