NAEMSP Releases NHTSA Funded National Strategy for Prehospital EBGs


Earlier this year, the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) released a “National Strategy to Promote Prehospital Evidence-Based Guideline Development, Implementation, and Evaluation,” the result of a two-year project funded in part by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of EMS (OEMS).


Evidence-based prehospital care continues to become more important as seen in reports such as the Institute of Medicine’s “Emergency Medical Services At the Crossroads” or the “National EMS Research Agenda”. In an effort to continue supporting research and evidence based decision making in EMS, the NHTSA OEMS competitively awarded a cooperative agreement to NAEMSP to develop a national strategy that engages EMS stakeholders to design a sustainable process for prehospital evidence-based guidelines (EBG). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program also contributed funding for this effort.


After involving EMS stakeholders in a two-year process to develop a sustainable process for advancing and implementing EBGs for EMS, the OEMS and the NAEMSP released the report, which is available online here and describes seven action items:


  • Creating a Prehospital Guidelines Consortium
  • Promoting research that would support EBGs
  • Developing EBGs
  • Educating the EMS community on EBGs
  • Implementing EBGs
  • Promoting a standardized method of evaluating EBGs
  • Funding the EBGs process


“Patient care data that prehospital care providers collect and record is the basis for the evidence that is eventually studied scientifically, published, and then systematically reviewed to come up with evidence-based guidelines,” said Cathy Gotschall, Sc.D., senior health scientist at NHTSA’s Office of EMS. “The data that EMS professionals collect is fundamental and the first step in the process of developing evidence-based guidelines, which lead to improved patient care - a goal we all share.”


The strategy for the Prehospital Guidelines Consortium was developed with input from 57 EMS stakeholder organizations. The report provides a starting point for field providers, medical directors, and EMS system administrators to initiate conversations about how they can use evidence-based guidelines in their systems. On a grander level, the document also illustrates a role for all EMS stakeholders and organizations on how they can contribute during this process.


“NHTSA hopes that what will come out of this consortium will be another avenue for improving the quality of scientific research in prehospital care,” said Gotschall. “The Prehospital Guidelines Consortium will be a way to help researchers be aware of funding opportunities for prehospital care research and we are hoping to gradually raise the level of excellence in prehospital care research.”


The report has gone through multiple levels of stakeholder and public comment periods and is available for download here.


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