Fatigue in EMS Project Expert Panel Meets

The project, which has spent the past year examining the evidence, is expected to release guidelines for fatigue risk management in EMS this summer

Earlier this year, the Fatigue in EMS project team met for three days to review the evidence and develop recommendations for fatigue risk management in EMS. The project, funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is a collaboration between the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) and a team of investigators led by Dr. Daniel Patterson of the University of Pittsburgh. 

The project’s expert panel conducted systematic reviews of the evidence that addressed:

  • Caffeine as a countermeasure
  • Napping during shift work
  • Education and training in sleep health and fatigue management
  • Biomathematical modeling
  • Use of task load interventions to mitigate fatigue

The research team and expert panel will convene again to finalize the recommendations and write a series of papers that highlight the findings and evidence-based recommendations. All papers and findings from this project will appear in a special supplement to Prehospital Emergency Care anticipated to appear online in the late summer or early fall of 2017.

“The Office of EMS partnered with the NHTSA Office of Behavioral Research to help the EMS community address the potentially deadly problem of fatigue,” said Jon Krohmer, MD, director of the NHTSA Office of EMS. “As a medical director, I see the effects of fatigue in the providers I work with. We won’t stop talking about this issue and we look forward to working with the great team assembled by NASEMSO to find evidence-based ways to improve safety.”

The investigative team will then turn its attention to testing the recommendations in an experimental study and develop a freely available biomathematical scheduling tool tailored to EMS. More information on the project and opportunities to provide comments or ask questions are available at www.emsfatigue.org or at EMS World.

EMS Compass leads to creation of National EMS Quality Alliance

National EMS organizations come together to ensure the work of the EMS Compass project to improve care through performance measurement continues

EMS Compass established a consensus-driven process for creating measures to help EMS systems evaluate and improve performance and patient care. But the leaders of EMS Compass acknowledged from the start that creating measures themselves is not a one-time effort, but a continuous process as measures are created, tested, used, re-evaluated and changed based on the latest science and available data.

Now, with the initial two-year cooperative agreement between NHTSA and NASEMSO complete, several EMS organizations have taken the first steps of the next phase of EMS Compass by incorporating the National EMS Quality Alliance.

“An industry-driven, grassroots effort to hold ourselves to high quality standards is the next step in the evolution of EMS as a profession,” said Jon Krohmer, MD, Director of the NHTSA Office of EMS. “We are excited to see the work of EMS Compass continue.”