Dan Sullivan, the founder of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of the Strategic Coach® Program, developed a methodology for assessment named D.O.S., which stands for Dangers, Opportunities, and Strengths.
Strengths encompass our unique skills and abilities, opportunities offer the possibility to gain something, while dangers refer to things we are afraid of losing. In the upcoming blog series, EMERGICON will utilize this methodology to assess the Emergency Medical Services industry and offer insight on how to mitigate dangers, capitalize on opportunities, and develop the strengths that are most impactful.
Strengths of EMS: 24/7 Response
Although the first emergency services began by horse and carriage in the 1860s, it took 100 years for it to be standardized at the national level, thanks to recommendations in a 1966 white paper. Years later, the EMS Systems Act of 1973 funded EMS systems across the nation. That act turns 50 next year. Is there a commonality that hasn’t changed through the years? One of the strengths of EMS is offering a 24/7 response to the community.
People know to call 9-1-1 for an emergency, but it goes beyond a ride to the hospital today. What used to be termed the “scoop and run” philosophy in the early years of EMS has transitioned into so much more. But the services are always available 24/7, 365 days a year.
The National Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council published a 31-page position statement that explains how EMS is making a difference with pre-hospital interventions and positively impacting the healthcare system. The conclusion is powerful, summarizing 10 different ways EMS is making a difference.
For example, EMS is a critical component of effective stroke care as well as decreasing time to provide CPR and defibrillation that can save people in cardiac arrest. EMS also helps reduce hospitalization rates and decrease healthcare costs when services are performed on-site versus automatically taking every patient to the hospital.
NHTSA’s Office of EMS reinforces how EMS does not operate in isolation but is integrated with other systems and services. It sits at the intersection of public health, public safety, and health care. It describes how an EMS system must be comprehensive to be “ready every day for every kind of emergency.” This includes public and private agencies/organizations, trauma centers, highly trained professionals, communications and transportation networks, rehabilitation centers, and a public that knows what to do in a medical emergency.
If you’ve been the recipient of emergency medical services in the middle of the night, offered by EMS, you can appreciate this strength even more. We are grateful for the dedication of this profession working to serve the community.