As EMS aggressively embraces and dictates its medical practice based on evidence-based medicine (EBM), will our clinical decision-making skills of practicing experienced-based clinical care be left by the wayside?
The new gold standard of EBM unarguably provides the best opportunity to identify, validate and put to practice a set of protocols best suited for managing a particular medical condition. There will never be enough EBM to completely cover all the unique and oftentimes chaotic scenarios EMS providers experience in the prehospital setting. Successful experiences within a 9-1-1 healthcare setting are often practiced without statistical data to support its use and can, at times, be an essential element in providing appropriate patient care—especially when combined with the best research and science-based evidence made available.
So here’s to you, my fine, outstanding, experienced veterans of EMS—for incorporating not only EBM, but also the relevant systematic collection of the patient’s circumstances, comfort and their preferences, in an often uncontrolled environment that doesn’t include lab rats.