Experts: Trends to Watch in EMS in 2018
By Medline Newsroom Staff | December 15, 2017
Innovation, funding and the opioid crisis are three EMS trends that are top of mind for agencies and departments in 2018. Following the first-ever EMS Advisory Board at Medline, the company announced key learnings for the year ahead.
“It’s important to understand these issues so we can identify the best solutions that ultimately lead to better care for the patient in a medical emergency,” said Rhonda Baliff, EMS Division Sales Manager.
Innovation in EMS
Besides an increase in the number of calls according to the National Run Survey, agencies are also looking at a change in patient populations. In some communities they’re introducing mobile integrated health programs to address unnecessary hospital visits and to ease the burden on organizational budgets.
In Colorado, West Metro Fire Rescue, the largest fire district and largest fire-based EMS provider in that state, is putting together a pilot program.
Costs and Consolidation
With most volunteer and even paid providers having a background solely in administering medical services, billing can be an afterthought leaving many departments struggling to get the proper reimbursements to fund their operations. Through a partnership with Fire Recovery USA, Medline is able to structure a solution that meets the financial requirements of EMS providers big and small. Fire Recovery USA’s proprietary systems and software allow fire departments and ambulance companies to efficiently and effortlessly bill for services.
The CDC reports more than half of the people who died of opioid overdoses in the second half of 2016 tested positive for fentanyl. Fentanyl is a lethal opioid that is 30-50 times more powerful than heroin. This growing drug epidemic has prompted the CDC and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to issue guidelines for EMS workers. The guidelines focus on safe practices and use of personal protective equipment.
“We want to make sure the EMT or the medic is protected in giving the care. There could be indirect exposure,” said Baliff. Medline has been working to make sure agencies know what items are available for personal protective equipment (PPE).