Future: EMS Industry in 2050

The Louisiana Department of Health http://ldh.la.gov has released a report that discusses the agenda for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) industry in the year 2050. The “EMS Agenda 2050” is a collaborative and inclusive two year project created to plan for the next several decades. The ideas resulted from conversations with the public, EMS community, the National EMS Advisory Council, and discussions held at public meetings and conferences.

Federal agencies taking part in the discussions include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, HRSA’s EMS for Children Program, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Office at HHS, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs.

The 2050 agenda for EMS calls for an integrated technology and artificial intelligence to provide situational awareness and decision support. By 2050, real-time and predictive information from patient records, diagnostic equipment, and other inputs will be delivered to emergency medical tele-communicators and first responders prior to their arrival on the scene.

The technology to be used will include video and sensor data provided by patients or devices such as drones. With this information, responders will be better able to assess the safety of a scene and determine what resources might be needed early in the response.

Wearable devices should be able to alert providers to any potential safety hazard including threats such as nuclear, chemical, or biological contamination that may include heat exhaustion or excessive fatigue.

By 2050, medication delivery systems should be able to use real time and historical data from health records to deliver correctly-dosed medications specific to each patient. In the future, providers will not have to calculate or measure out a drug dose.

EMS systems will need to invest in the equipment and obtain the expertise needed to maintain and adequately secure data systems and will need to be programmed to use the most advanced methods to protect patient privacy.

The vision for future healthcare systems is to have all EMS fully integrated with each other and also integrated with the communities where they operate. Local EMS providers will also be able to communicate frequently with community partners such as public safety agencies, emergency communications systems, as well as with public health, mental health, and social service resources.

What will be important in the future is to allow flexibility in healthcare providers practices especially during disasters and other major events. For example, hospital-based provides should receive training and be credentialed to practice in or out-of-hospital settings when disasters are declared. Also field EMS personnel will be used in hospitals or other facilities when large number of sick or injured people exceed their capabilities.

With fewer patients in hospital care, EMS providers could be trained and prepared to treat, evacuate, and care for hospital-at-home patients and other residents of the community with special needs during a disaster.

Go to http://ldh.la.gov/assets/oph/ems/2018/EMS-Agenda-2050-Draft-for-Public-Comment.pdf to view the document “EMS Agenda 2050”published May 1, 2018.

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