EMS World

AUG 2018

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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10 AUGUST 2018 | EMSWORLD.com O ne of the recurring themes throughout the PIE project was the perceived challenge for EMS agencies to develop and grow their internal business acumen in order to effectively manage their service delivery model as a business. The reality is that the delivery of healthcare, whether in a fixed or mobile setting and regardless of organi- zation type, would generally benefit from being run more like a business. We provide services that are valuable to our customers, and we need revenue to help cover the cost. For any business to be suc- cessful, its customers must be willing to fairly compensate it for the value it brings to them. Over the next few columns, we will intro- duce some basic concepts of the "business" of EMS as a way to help promote innovation. We encourage EMS leaders to either invest the time and effort to develop a keen under- standing of the business of EMS or to hire people who possess the business acumen that will be required to create and imple- ment sustainable innovation. In this column we start with two business concepts, value and cost. What Value Do You Bring? In economic terms, value means the mon- etary worth of something—what someone is willing to trade money for. Value can be per- ceived differently depending on the motiva- tion of the customer. We understand that use of the term cus- tomer in EMS is somewhat controversial, but it can be instructive for the EMS leader or potential innovator to consider those we serve as customers because doing so forces us to think about the value we offer. Cus- tomers could be patients and their families, elected or appointed officials, payers (either those we bill for service or whose tax dollars support our operations), coresponders, other healthcare professionals, and other health- care systems. Patients may perceive value through the attainment of good outcomes as well as genuine empathy and the relief of their suffering through competent clinical inter- ventions and the kindness shown by the healthcare provider. Elected or appointed officials may value response times to their constituents or reduced costs in other areas. Payers derive value from the effective use of their economic resources in the attainment of quality patient outcomes. Coresponders and healthcare profession- als we interface with feel valued when you recognize them for their contributions to the care provided to the patient. EMS providers and agencies can improve their value prop- osition by measuring how well they do the things that are most important to customers and implementing strategies that help them improve the benefits customers derive. Sometimes EMS leaders may think we understand the value proposition for each of these key customers, but the only reliable way to truly know is to ask them. In your next meeting with your local elected leaders or hospital liaisons, ask how they would define value for your agency. Some things we've heard relate to patient satisfaction, most commonly measured as the lack of complaints or frequency of compliments heard about an EMS service from its constituents. Sometimes these meetings are also a valuable opportunity to inform such leaders of not-yet-realized value you might be able to bring through a new partnership. You should also survey patients or host focus groups to determine what things they liked or didn't like about their experience with your agency. The same can be done with healthcare partners and coresponders. Once you know the value proposition for your main customers, you can develop methods to demonstrate, and leverage, the value you bring to them. Costs of Service Delivery Without knowing what it costs to provide your service, it's impossible to think of your service as a business. However, for some agencies that answer can be elusive— especially for multirole departments, like an EMS-based fire department that pro- vides ambulance transport as well as first response services. 1 PROMOTING INNOVATION IN EMS Business acumen may impede EMS innovation—start developing it now By Matt Zavadsky, MS-HSA, EMT, and Kevin G. Munjal, MD, MPH Get to Know Value and Cost Over 2018 EMS World, in conjunction with the National Association of EMTs, will provide detailed implementation strategies for key recommendations of the Promoting Innovation in EMS (PIE) project. The PIE project utilized broad stakeholder involvement over four years to identify and develop guidance to overcome common barriers to innovation at the local and state levels and foster development of new, innovative models of healthcare delivery within EMS. Each month we will focus on one recommendation and highlight the document's actionable strategies to continue the EMS transformation. Matt Zavadsky is a featured speaker at EMS World Expo, Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2018 emsworldexpo.com

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