On September 2nd, the State Commission on EMS approved new regulations that create an appeal procedure for local EMS agencies whose EMS Plan has been disapproved or denied by the California EMS Authority. Under existing statute, the Commission may hear an appeal regarding negative action by EMSA on a local EMS Plan. These new regulations provide procedural steps for these appeals based on the California Administrative Procedure Act. Several local EMS agencies have experienced recent denials of their EMS Plan by the Authority, and the new administrative procedure is expected to be utilized immediately.
On July 28, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, announced that California’s Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) has been awarded a grant of $2.75 million over two years to advance health information exchange (HIE) statewide during a disaster and in daily emergency medical services (EMS) activities.
“This project will allow us to work through the obstacles and find the best solutions, which can then be implemented across the state,” said Dr. Howard Backer, Director of California's Emergency Medical Services Authority. “The benefits will be measurable, as we will have a system that will not only allow us to provide better patient care in the field, but will also collect data to track the impacts on the EMS system and patient outcomes.”
The funds will be used to develop two health information technology projects over two years: 1) connectivity between existing health information organizations (HIOs) to support health care provider access to health records statewide during a disaster, and 2) technology and infrastructure to give EMS providers in the field access to send and receive critical patient information. The grant will also fund an advisory committee consisting of public and private partners from HIE organizations, local EMS agencies, ambulance providers, hospitals and consumers as well as a robust education effort to ensure that the learning is shared....
Two studies recently published suggest that survival rates for patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were better for bystander CPR with an AED than for first responder EMS. One of the studies found that survival-to-discharge rates were best for patients who received bystander CPR and bystander defibrillation. This was followed by bystander CPR with first responder defibrillation. First responder CPR and defibrillation had the lowest survival rate in this study. A link to a summary article is shown below: