Prof Niro Siriwardena of CaHRU attended the North American Emergency Medical Services Physicians (NAEMSP) annual conference in San Diego, California from 10-12 January 2018 to deliver an invited lecture on ambulance quality measures and improvement.
The conference opened with a keynote address, ‘The patient as a mission with a very critical outcome, how to get that right – the first time and every time’ given by Dr Story Musgrave, child labourer, mechanic, farmer, scientist, doctor, pilot, astronaut, artist and university professor. This was followed by Dr Dave Williams of the Institute for Health Improvement in the US who spoke on ‘Improvement science and safety in EMS’ including an example from CaHRU of development of prehospital indicators and their use for quality improvement.
The following day included session on the Canadian Prehospital Evidence-Based Practice Project, National Model EMS Clinical Guidelines and Ethical Challenges in EMS, simulation, cognitive bias and medical error. The afternoon sessions focussed in quality included ‘Mission: Quality – Can Mission Lifeline Help Your Performance Improvement Program?’ presented by Dr Jeremy Cushman MD. He described how a the programme Mission: Lifeline is designed to transform care for patients with myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiac arrest using national performance benchmarks, and sharing best practices to enhance provider feedback through hospital outcome information.
Prof Siriwardena then spoke on how new quality measures for ambulance services have been developed and implemented over the past decade in England in his lecture entitled ‘Developing Ambulance Quality & Performance Measures that Make a Difference to Patients’. This was based on research conducted by Prof Siriwardena with UK ambulance services and academic institutions as part of the Ambulance Services Cardiovascular Quality Initiative (ASCQI) and the Prehospital Outcomes for Evidence Based Evaluation (PhOEBE) program. There was discussion of the successes as well as the barriers to development of new quality measures, and the underpinning research and quality improvement initiatives that have been vital to progress in this field.