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Evidence-Based Guidelines & Performance Management

EMS care has evolved from a system largely based on tradition to one with a growing base of evidence supporting procedures and protocols.

The National Prehospital Evidence-Based Guideline Model Process, published by NHTSA in 2012, provides a foundation for the development of prehospital evidence-based guidelines (EBG). The process has supported the development of several EMS evidence-based guidelines, on topics such as hemorrhage control, fatigue management, overdoses and pain management.

These EBGs guide the development of EMS protocols and assist clinical decision-making in order to provide appropriate care for specific clinical situations based on scientific evidence. Local and State EMS medical directors and leaders are encouraged to use EBGs during development of prehospital protocols—they can also draw from the National Model Clinical Guidelines, which are based on available EBGs and other published evidence.

Creating an evidence-based guideline requires extensive review of published research, expert input and consensus-building. NHTSA and its Federal partners have funded the development of several EBGs, in coordination with national EMS organizations and experts across the country.

You can explore the Resources hub to access the evidence-based guidelines developed using the National Prehospital EBG Model Process, as well as other resources related to the development and implementation of evidence-based guidelines in EMS. You can also find more resources related to EMS evidence-based guidelines on the Prehospital Guidelines Consortium website.

Last Updated: 10/18/2023