Public Information and Education

The public should be well informed on how to deal with medical emergencies. In designing a public information program, the EMS council should consider the following:

1. The public should understand how the community stands to benefit from an excellent EMS system.

2. The public should be prepared to render first aid care.

3. The public must know how to access the EMS system quickly.

4. The public should understand that patients may not be delivered to the hospital of their choice under life-threatening conditions. Independent Review and Evaluation

Governing agencies should be assured that there is ongoing review of the EMS system. Monitoring of radio communications, review of response times, and review of patients' care records are relatively mechanical methods of quality control that are easily implemented. Outcome studies of such entities as cardiac arrest and multiple trauma require considerable physician input and cooperation. The system medical director should require that mechanisms be in place to ensure and improve the quality of EMS care. EMS system access to hospital charts should be a requirement for participating hospitals, with proper controls to ensure patients' confidentiality.

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