Richmond, Va./Fort Worth, Texas--The Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the UKs South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB), led a delegation across the Atlantic last week to examine High Performance EMS, US Style. CEO Paul Sutton and Chairman Tony Thorne, along with four other Non Executive Directors and Senior Managers conducted a US study tour across two well know high performance EMS locations.
First stop was Virginia’s Richmond Ambulance Authority where the team spent time examining dynamic deployment planning as well as a detailed examination of the ‘Make Ready’ logistic system where ambulances are stocked, washed and ‘made ready’ by a dedicated team of Vehicle Support Technicians. Part of the RAA hosting team was fellow brit and Chief Operating Officer, Rob Lawrence who said ‘South East Coast Ambulance is one of the UKs premier ambulance organizations, they are already committed to the development of world class, high performing EMS as we are here in Richmond and it is both an honor and a pleasure to show them our system and exchange ideas and views’ SECAMB staff also had the opportunity to be briefed on practices not currently conducted in the UK such as Mechanical CPR and Therapeutic Hypothermia.
SECAMB Non Executive Director Tim Howe said ‘We had a really productive time. We talked it through at the airport on the way back and generated so much enthusiasm and ideas that it is going to take the next year to implement it all’.
After spending time at RAA, the party moved on to Fort Worth Texas and MedStar EMS. The visitors were able to examine the similarities in the two systems. Visit host Matt Zavadsky said "Many of the things we've implemented here, we've actually borrowed from the United Kingdom. Our community health program, our nurse triage program, they've been doing in the UK. This is the opportunity to give back some of that exchange information." SECAMB staff spend valuable time learning the balance between productivity and workforce morale, effective use of deployment centers, engaging in ‘across the pond’ clinical benchmarking and experiencing first-hand the benefits of effective media relations – they did a total of three on-camera interviews with national media outlets.
At the end of the visit to both locations, SECAMB Chair Tony Thorne said ‘The executives are looking to compare themselves and test themselves against other ambulance services that are in the kind of state themselves, a state of good performance and high clinical excellence,". "Take stock on where we are, compare and hopefully kick on from where we are today." added Thorne.
Both RAA and MedStar are members of the Coalition of Advanced EMS Systems (CAEMS) and regularly share information, practices and procedures to ensure the joint delivery of world class EMS and innovation.