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End of the Year Checklist

As the end of the year approaches, everyone begins to review the passing year and prepare for the next one. If you re the manager of an EMS system, it s time to close out this year s activities and begin to prepare for next year s operations. It often helps to have a checklist of items you need to work on to ensure nothing is left unfinished after the first of the year. Here are some areas to consider:

Annual report Does your agency prepare an annual report? An annual report is one way to report on your accomplishments and detail your agency s activities. This report often describes the department objectives and performance measurements. More than a statistical or financial report, it reports on programs the agency was involved in and how agency goals were met. Many agencies include photos of employees or activities that occurred during the past year. In some cases, a one-page flyer is developed from the annual report that is sent to members of the community.

Budget review If you re responsible for the organization budget, how does it look at the end of the year? Did you accurately predict the budget for your organization? Are you over or under budget? Do you have money left over for an additional piece of equipment or some training materials for the employees?

Vehicle report A status report on the state of your agency s vehicles at the end of the year provides you with a look at where you are in your replacement schedule. Whether you replace vehicles on the basis of time or mileage, having a report from your mechanic gives you the necessary information to determine if you need to adjust your replacement schedule.

Vehicle & medication checklists Compiling all monthly checklists into a book for each year provides a quick reference source when you need to document your vehicle checklists or medication inventory. This report, like your maintenance records, details information about inspections conducted by employees to ensure that the necessary medications are checked on a regular basis and that the vehicles used to transport patients are inspected for proper working condition.

Equipment inspection/replacement Some agencies replace equipment only when it breaks. However, the end of the year is a good time to get everyone involved in taking a close look at some equipment that may need to be replaced to ensure it doesn t break when you need it most. Items like backboards, stretcher and backboard straps, or equipment bags often get worn out and should be replaced before they break. Create a simple list of equipment to be checked by the end of the year so you can replace them.

Inventory report Does your agency have an up-to-date inventory report of supplies and spare equipment in stock? Having this report assists you in planning your next year s purchases, especially if you re considering bulk purchases to help save money. An annual inventory report can assist you in your budget process by showing how much inventory you use each year.

Station inspection/status report Just like inspecting your equipment, you should conduct an end of the year inspection for any base stations and develop a report that indicates the status of the facilities. This information is used for both short- and long-range capital projects.

Personnel records It s critical to keep personnel records current, and the end of the year is a good time to ask yourself: Are all records up-to-date and accurate? Were annual performance evaluations completed and reviewed with respective employees? Are all emergency contact names and numbers current?

Medical records In addition to employee personnel records, is each employee s medical record up-to-date and complete? Did all documents and information pertaining to each employee s medical record get filed appropriately?

Training Reports This essential report documents all training that your employees received during the year. To start, compile all monthly training reports to organize into a year-end report. If you produce this detailed report annually, it can save you many hours of work reviewing training records if an employee s performance and training is questioned in the future.

Worker s comp & injury report An excellent report to have at the end of the year is one that details your annual worker s compensation and injury claims. This report should include all injuries and their causes that are related to worker s compensation claims, including the number of lost days of work for each incident.

Special project report Did your agency implement or conduct any new or trial programs in the past year? Let your employees or supervisors know if it was a success or if it will be changed in the next year.

Preparing for next year

Prioritize your workload so you can address all time-sensitive items that need to be completed before the end of the year and get them off your desk. You don t want to start the new year dealing with items that could be easily finished now. If your business forms are dated, make sure to update all forms and checklists.

Get your employees involved in the end of the year activities, and share with them the highlights of the year and the ways they made a difference. Often, your employees, like the community, don t know all the activities and service levels provided on an annual basis and informing them reinforces the quality of the services.

In my next column, I ll give you some recommendations for New Year s resolutions.

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