Don’t be Content with the Status Quo

Delivering the best possible health care, it’s what many strive for. But it’s not always so cut and dry. Whether you’re an individual or an organization, sometimes a change is needed to push oneself forward, and you need to know when to act on it.

At Global Medical, we strive to deliver the best possible health care services. By staying diligent we can continue providing our excellent services such as Paramedic Services or Automated External Defibrillator Programs.  We are always on the lookout for the next “thing,” we understand that changing one variable in a service can potentially have a large and positive impact.

Washington County Emergency Medical Services EMS director, Kevin Deramus understood this when they built their 290 station in the Four Corners area.

Prior to the 290 station, 60 percent of calls would come in from the Four Corners area, but they would be answered from Blue Bell Road substation, not an ideal location for these calls. The logistics issues affected survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest victims, their survival rates  to hospital were down to 40 percent before the ambulances even arrived. “Based on just where we responded from, this patient’s survival rate went down to less than a flip of a coin,” Deramus said.

Unfortunately on average, every minute paramedics use to respond to a scene decreases the chances of survival by 10 percent. Now with the 290 station in place, survival rates to hospital jumped to 70 percent due to quick response times.

So how does this change of service compare with the national average in the United States? Washington County Emergency Medical Services discharge rate from hospital is now up to 35 percent, the national average trails behind at 7.5 percent. This huge increase can be attributed to the actions of the EMS personnel who wanted to improve their selves and their organization.

“We looked at how we responded to these events a few years ago and knew we could do better as a department,” Deramus said. “We look at treating these events a little like a puzzle. If one of the pieces goes missing it messes up the whole picture.”

The optimum chain of survival involves early access to 911, early CPR, early defibrillation and early advanced care by paramedics. A break in these steps will most likely lead to an unhappy outcome. That is why it is so important to analyze each step and create innovative ways to improve the processes.

“If we do away with any of these pieces then the patient doesn’t live,” Deramus said. “It can be something as small as where the EMS station was located, how much experience the responding paramedic has and down to the equipment and techniques we utilize.

A response time of 3 minutes is a great achievement for Kevin Deramus and his EMS team. This is a shining example of why you shouldn’t be content with the status quo, always see how you can improve; you can create something life changing if you put in the effort!

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