EMS World

FEB 2019

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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THE JOURNEY TO 2050: THE EMS AGENDA FOR THE FUTURE 18 FEBRUARY 2019 | EMSWORLD.com • 248 pages of comments on the federal request for information prior to the launch of EMS Agenda 2050; • Nearly 150 applicants for the 10 spots on the technical expert panel; • More than 250 written comments during public comment periods; • Nearly 800 registrants for the four EMS Agenda 2050 regional public meetings, and hundreds more who participated at town halls and sessions at national EMS conferences. I was around for the creation of the origi- nal EMS Agenda for the Future a little more than two decades ago, and I am confident EMS Agenda 2050 will have just as profound an impact on our profession as its predeces- sor. The EMS Agenda for the Future told us what fundamental building blocks EMS systems needed, many of which now seem so obvious that you might question why we ever had to include them: universal access to 9-1-1, robust communication systems, and physician medical direction, just to name a few. But prior to the EMS Agenda for the Future, many EMS systems lacked the basic resources we take for granted. While we have not achieved every recommendation made by the original agenda's authors, we have come a long way since the mid 1990s. Six Guiding Principles One of the first actions of the technical expert panel was to discuss whether to fol- low the same format as the original agenda. They chose to take a different approach not because the original framework didn't suc- ceed but in fact because it did. With many of the "fundamental attributes," as the 1996 Agenda for the Future called them, in place in most U.S. EMS systems, it was time for the profession to mature to one that not only provides acute out-of-hospital care, but one that provides it in a people-centered fashion. From that discussion came the six guiding principles of EMS Agenda 2050. While the document provides specific recommenda- tions, each of which was debated and dis- sected, the key elements are these six prin- ciples. After all, the only thing we can be sure of is that we don't know exactly what EMS will look like in 30 years. Technology changes more rapidly every day. Political and finan- cial structures continue to evolve as well. But the core tenets of a people-centered EMS system will remain the same: They will be inherently safe and effective; integrated and seamless; reliable and prepared; socially equitable; sustainable and efficient; and adaptable and innovative. The creation of EMS Agenda 2050, while a major accomplishment, is simply one step toward the development of EMS systems that achieve these goals. Now it's up to all of us to make it a reality. As the members of the panel that put together EMS Agenda 2050 wrote, "Achieving this vision will require deliberate actions of stakeholders at every level of EMS… The guiding principles illus- trated in EMS Agenda 2050 should guide all your decisions, from day-to-day EMS care and operations to systemwide strategic efforts. The future of people-centered EMS is in your hands." Throughout 2019 EMS World will feature a series of articles describing how EMS sys- tems and clinicians can turn the EMS Agen- da 2050 vision into a reality. Stay tuned. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jon Krohmer, MD, is director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of EMS. While we don't know exactly what EMS will look like in 30 years, the core tenets of a people-centered EMS system will remain the same. Photo: Aaron Webster

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