Santa Clara County EMS Agency is committed to providing quality services to all of our communities. We are dedicated to improving patient outcomes to those we serve. Quality improvement occurs system-wide, as well as with individual organizations that are part of the Santa Clara County EMS system. Through the quality improvement committee, strategic changes are utilized to address weaknesses and promote the use of evidence to inform our decision making. These practices are integrated into the core operations of our provider agencies, as well as at the system level. The quality improvement program affords all participants, from administrator to first responder, an opportunity to affect change within the system. It provides a process to identify performance standards, to measure success, to report on progress, and ensures the system achieves the desired outcomes.
This year the EMS Agency has made significant advancement in the way data is collected and utilized throughout the system. With the new data system in place benchmark reports are under development, quality assurance modules are being applied at the provider level and immediate feedback is being provided to front line staff. Benchmark reports allow us to evaluate the care we provide as system and set goals to achieve higher standards in the care we are providing. It is imperative that system participants use standardized data when comparing and analyzing reports. All of our system participants are now using data collection that is based on the National EMS Information System’s (NEMSIS) data dictionary. By using this common language we will we decrease variability between provider agencies and allow for national and state benchmarking to ensure our system is providing the highest quality care.
The Santa Clara County EMS Quality Improvement (QI) Program also serves as a guideline for providers in the development of their organizational QI plans. With the expansion of the data system, the agency is currently revising the quality improvement plan both internally and with our stakeholders to emulate the new process changes. The agency is also providing education to our committee members on data analysis and quality improvement methodologies.