Because the emergency medical services (EMS) treatment first responders give to patients in the field can significantly affect the outcome of their recovery, it is vital for any trauma system to continually assess and improve coordination of patient care and outcomes.
To better understand the EMS services provided throughout Ohio, researchers in the Department of Surgery at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine received funding in the amount of $84,182 from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of Ohio Emergency Medical Services.
Through their research, they will identify and assess trauma-specific performance improvement activities performed by various EMS agencies throughout Ohio and benchmark the trauma-specific EMS resources regionally and at the county level based on field triage performances.
Priti Parikh, Ph.D., associate professor of surgery, is the primary investigator on the grant. She is leading a multidisciplinary team of researchers, including EMS providers and engineers. Her team includes EMS providers Brenden Deere and Lynne Buckingham and Pratik Parikh, Ph.D., professor of biomedical, industrial and human factors engineering in the Wright State College of Engineering and Computer Science.
“The primary goal of an efficient and effective trauma system is to provide the right patient the right care at the right time and place,” Priti Parikh said. “Emergency medical service providers perform field triage to assist in determining the most appropriate level of care needed for the patient. It is essential for EMS agencies to have quality and performance improvement programs in place.”
These programs rely on key performance indicators to continuously monitor the system’s overall performance, resource utilization and effectiveness of prehospital interventions.
Parikh said that it is critical for the state of Ohio to understand the level of care provided by each EMS agency, the trauma resources used and the type of performance improvement programs that have been adopted by each agency.
“If such data can be collected, then it will allow the state to compare and benchmark these agencies or counties against similar peer groups,” Parikh said. “Benchmarking EMS agencies against similar peer agencies can reveal best practices among top performers in terms of care provision. This will enable the adoption of best practices not just in that specific peer group but potentially across the state.”