MedStar and its Medical Director awarded top honors at Texas EMS Conference
Dallas / Fort Worth, TX — November 24, 2010 — At its annual state-wide emergency medical services conference, the Texas Department of State Health Services awarded MedStar with the Texas EMS Provider of the Year, 2010. This prestigious award was given in recognition of MedStar’s innovative and groundbreaking programs that have had significant impacts on the healthcare landscape in North Texas. Many of these programs were developed in close collaboration with the organization’s Medical Director, Dr. Jeff Beeson. Dr. Beeson was also recognized at the conference as the Texas EMS Medical Director of the Year, 2010.
“To have both MedStar and Dr. Beeson each honored in this way is quite meaningful peer recognition,” says Fort Worth councilmember Zim Zimmerman , who also serves as the Area Metro Ambulance Authority board chairman. “Both awards are well-earned and mean that the residents of MedStar’s 15 member cities are getting some of the finest, most forward-thinking emergency medical care in the nation.”
MedStar and Beeson have pioneered several unique programs that have earned both statewide and national recognition such as the Advanced Practice Paramedic (APP) program. Implemented in early 2010 to provide a multi-faceted approach to in-field care, these specially-trained paramedics are deployed to high-acuity calls to provide the most advanced level of expertise and customer service. Training includes critical care, cutting-edge cardiac arrest protocols, grief counseling, and working with mental and community health patients.
Through MedStar’s Community Health Program, APP’s visit patients who routinely call 9-1-1 for non-emergency needs, to provide on-going health monitoring and to connect patients to more appropriate resources. The program has decreased 9-1-1 use within this patient population by over 64%. Not only does this keep resources available to respond to emergency needs, it has also had a significant impact on local emergency rooms. In less than one year, this program has saved over 10,000 emergency room bed hours and over $1 million in EMS and emergency room costs.
Through a significant focus toward improving outcomes for cardiac arrest patients, MedStar and Beeson have developed programs which have yielded startling and lifesaving results. Due in part to the focused scene management by Advanced Practice Paramedics and the administration of therapeutic hypothermia, MedStar has achieved a 37% increase in the number of cases in which a cardiac arrest patient’s heart begins beating again following a resuscitation attempt in the field. Further, of those patients, 9% leave the hospital neurologically intact, which is nearly twice the national average.
Additionally, a community effort to increase CPR education called “Get the Beat” has provided on-site chest-compression training to the public at area businesses and special events, free of charge. The program is being considered by the Fort Worth Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the Fort Worth First initiative to help teach chest compressions to volunteers and other hospitality representatives in preparation for the upcoming Super Bowl festivities. (Requests for this program can be made at www.medstar911.org.)
Some of the programs MedStar has implemented were initially met with questions but have since proven to be of significant value. MedStar no longer transports patients with CPR in-progress in an emergency mode with lights and sirens. This decision was based on studies showing that the increased stress on patients and the added risk of high-speed transport did not positively impact patient care. Also, MedStar now has implemented a field termination protocol. Following strict guidelines, APP’s may now cease resuscitation efforts in cardiac arrest cases beyond hope after 30 minutes of CPR and other appropriate treatments. The APP’s are then able to provide immediate grief counseling and after-care instructions for the families who have lost loved ones. Dr. Beeson is credited with having supported these programs in the best interests of patient care.
Future plans at MedStar include a broader implementation of a public Automated External Defibrillator (AED) loan program which would allow high-risk cardiac patients and special events to check out AED devices on a temporary basis. Through the MedStar Heart Check program, MedStar is working with area hospitals and cardiologists to schedule APP visits for newly released cardiac patients in an attempt to reduce the need for return visits to the emergency room.
Responding to over 100,000 calls each year, MedStar EMS is the exclusive emergency and non-emergency ambulance service provider to over 880,000 residents throughout Fort Worth and 14 other Tarrant County cities including Haltom City, Burleson, Saginaw, White Settlement, Forest Hill, River Oaks, Lake Worth, Sansom Park, Westworth Village, Blue Mound, Edgecliff Village, Haslet, Lakeside and Westover Hills. Established in 1986, MedStar is governed by the Area Metropolitan Ambulance Authority board of directors and is one of only 132 ambulance services in the country to receive national accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services.
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Posted on Wed, November 24, 2010