Thursday January 30, 2014
Distinction rare for large-city EMS services
Louisville Metro’s EMS has received national accreditation – one of just a handful of large-city EMS operations to earn the distinction.
The accreditation for Metro Emergency Medical Services comes from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) which reviewed and rated the agency on more than 100 service elements including its fiscal management, human resources, clinical standards, equipment and communications and its working relationship with other agencies.
“We are sharply focused on making all of our city departments and services best in class and this national accreditation of EMS and its critical first-response service is an example of how we achieve that,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.
Less than 1% of the approximately 20,000 credentialed EMS agencies in the U.S. have received national accreditation from CAAS.
“This accreditation speaks to the dedication of our EMTs, paramedics and staff,” said Neal J. Richmond, M.D., LMEMS CEO and Medical Director. “CAAS considers this the gold standard for EMS systems in this country so we feel very privileged, especially since we are such a new system. This required a great deal of hard work, and we couldn’t be prouder of everyone in our service.”
EMS was among the city agencies partnering with the mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team to create more efficient services to citizens. One focus has been reducing the number of non-emergency 911 calls and ambulance runs by diverting calls to more appropriate response. So far, the number of such calls has been cut 25 percent.
Working through the city’s LouieStat process, which departments use to track and improve performance, EMS has also increased its on-street coverage by reducing turnaround time at local hospitals. Cutting the average turnaround time by 10 minutes, from 40 to 30, EMS nets an additional 40 hours of coverage a day – almost the same as buying two more ambulances. In October 2013, EMS crews doubled the number of times that crews responded to and left hospitals in 30 minutes or less.
Louisville Metro EMS receives nearly 100,000 calls for service each year.
The agency added seven new, state-of-the-art ambulances in 2013 and plans to add six more this year.