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Coffee break Bulletin

Quality management in Emergency Medical Services — Implementing change

Posted: July 11, 2017

This Coffee Break Bulletin identifies steps you can take to implement EMS process improvement changes for patient care identified through your Quality Management Program.

Once you have arrived at evidence (data)-based decisions for process improvement, you then need to implement the changes. Here are seven steps that will assist you.

  1. Communicate why changes are needed. Ground your new vision in reality and explain it in plain language.
  2. Form a coalition and consider including those who oppose the changes. Often, their inclusion will bring fresh ideas and reduce resistance.
  3. Communicate the vision to stakeholders inside and outside the organization.
  4. Empower others to act on the new vision. By doing so, it will help you to:
    • Obtain a source of additional manpower/staffing.
    • Get buy-in from the empowered.
    • Receive additional feedback to help fine-tune your changes.
  5. Reward participants, especially those who do most of the grunt work.
  6. Constantly assess and re-adjust as needed when consolidating improvements. Minor corrections are easier to absorb than major changes, which can destabilize and disrupt your change efforts.
  7. Identify opportunities to reinforce how the changes are related to organizational success by monitoring participant reactions through communication channels and practical evaluation techniques.

By adopting a quality management program with a data-driven process that includes evidence-based problem identification, you can implement potentially life-saving changes to improve patient care.

Action step for implementing process improvement changes

Apply for the NFA course Emergency Medical Services: Quality Management (R0158) to learn how to create, implement and maintain a Quality Management Program using historical examples, current models, and best practices in quality assurance and improvement, process improvement, and data collection and analysis.

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