What changes in EMS will persist after the national emergency is over?
Funding a system of readiness through telehealth, treatment and alternative destination reimbursement for EMS.
COVID-19 has had a significant and likely lasting impact on EMS in the United States. Changes to our industry have ranged from using respiratory and eye protection on every patient call to CMS allowing transport of patients to alternative destinations like urgent care centers. Social distancing has changed the way initial and continuing education are delivered, protocols for cardiac arrest care have been modified in some jurisdictions and the combination of certified personnel to make a legal ambulance crew has been broadened by emergency rules.
Which of those changes, from minimal to monumental will stick? At the conclusion of the COVID-19: Legal and documentation issues for EMS practitioners webinar, I asked the presenters to look beyond the pandemic. When we start returning to normal, what are the things that we are trying now that are going to stick with EMS for years to come?