Mike Taigman will be our leader for the September Rural EMS Townhall. You may have read Mike’s books or articles. Mike will be speaking with us about low stress leadership and cultures that foster quality. I invite everyone to join us. I’m sure it will be one of the best ways you can spend an hour on a Tuesday.
As I was looking through Mike’s writings, I read “Implementing Patient Centered Quality Management.” I highly recommend reading the fifteen pages if you wonder what measuring for quality is about. Mike takes you through six parts. The measures are important. The interesting part of the process is getting everyone in a system working toward a shared patient centric goal and to show the work has paid off.
In Mike’s article, there was a reference to an article written by Thom Dick . Mike stated, “My friend Thom Dick wrote an article for JEMS magazine several years ago titled, “Who Saves the Most Lives?” Just under the title was a photo of the lead mechanic for Hartston’s Medical Services in San Diego where Thom worked. The article went on to describe how regardless of how well trained and equipped the paramedic is, if their response vehicle fails, the patient suffers.” It reminded me of how often I hear from EMS, “They say they can’t do what we do.” And not everyone can, but as a nonprofit or business you need a lot of different skill sets to make your system work and maybe there is someone in the community that is waiting to help you with marketing, accounting, billing, scheduling, cleaning, event planning, or routine maintenance.
I hope everyone knows the feeling of when a system comes together flawlessly to provide you with what you need. You arrive to a clean, fully stocked, diesel filled ambulance. Your partner has already done the checks. The dispatcher gives you the exact information and you nail the patient care. The EHR/ePCR saves right away with no red validations you have to go back and fix. Afterwards, you are able to take a break, eat some lunch, go to the bathroom and walk around the building before the tones go off again. I am sure you all know the feeling when one of the pieces breaks down. I encourage you to be curious, not furious about how a piece of the system failed. Most likely there is a break down in the system, not a human trying to make you have a bad day.
I wanted to find the Thom Dick article that was referenced by Taigman. In looking, the google search took me to Thom Dick’s Twitter. I signed up for a Twitter account to look around. I did not find the article on Thom Dick’s Twitter feed, but I thought I might just look around and see what all the Twitter hype was about. I typed in the search box “North Dakota EMS”. I scrolled through the various tweets and retweets. There, I was clicking through everything in the last 10 years when I saw a reference to North Dakota Local EMS Agencies Collaborate to Improve Care. I was excited to find out who was working on it and to see if they wanted to be a part of this effort. Here it was the pilot effort I brought together with Dr. Sather and six EMS agencies in the Northwest corner of North Dakota. It reminded me that when people come together great things can start.
Mona Thompson has been actively involved in EMS since 1991 and currently serves as the EMS Director for Kidder County Ambulance as well as a NR-Paramedic and EMS/AHA Instructor. Her past EMS experience includes the position of Regional Advisor for NDEMSA and Safe Tech Solutions, Simulation Instructor for Sanford Health and EMS/AHA Instructor for Medcenter One EMS Education. She has taken a special interest with PTSD in EMS Providers, and currently chairs the Mental Wellness Committee with NDEMSA. Mona lives with her husband, 2 sons, Golden Retriever, and too many cats on a hobby farm in Steele, ND and relieves her stress with gardening, fishing, kayaking, and camping with her family!
Howard has had a heart for EMS & Trauma ever since his first ambulance run in 1982. He currently serves as the Trauma Coordinator for CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck. He is a retired Bismarck Fire Lieutenant and maintains certifications as a RN, CEN, CFRN, CCRN, TCRN, LNCC and Paramedic.