County to review EMS management model
(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – Sedgwick County officials are exploring the management model for Sedgwick County Emergency Medical Service (SCEMS) to meet the evolving needs of the emergency medical system.
County officials are primarily exploring two options in search of improved efficiencies, effectiveness, and collaboration. One option is to find improvements in the existing model. A second option would merge SCEMS with the Office of Medical Director (OMD), establishing a collaborative system under the direction of a physician. The financial impact of a new model is also under consideration.
The EMS operational review is driven by changing community needs related to the delivery of emergency and nonemergency healthcare. Emergency medical systems play an increasing role in the continuum of community healthcare. Currently, many local EMS systems focus on a reactive response to critical emergencies and serious accidents, but data shows that residents increasingly call 911 for less serious or chronic health problems. County officials are seeking to develop a proactive service model and better strategy for using system resources, reducing unnecessary ambulance transports, reducing emergency room visits, delivering higher-quality care and making other system improvements.
“Sedgwick County has quality, dedicated out-of-hospital care providers and support staff in both EMS and the Office of the Medical Director,” said Rusty Leeds, the Assistant County Manager of Public Safety. “A review of operations will help us identify efficiencies.”
SCEMS is the primary agency responsible for the out-of-hospital care and transportation of people who become acutely ill or injured, and are in need of ambulance transport to a hospital using advanced life support (ALS) ambulances. Additionally, SCEMS provides scheduled ambulance transportation services for people who require routine transfer due to a medical necessity. In 2018, SCEMS responded to 63,607 calls, averaging about 174 calls a day. The department has 192 full-time employees and a $21.3 million dollar budget.
OMD plays a key role in providing clinical leadership and oversight for all aspects of pre-hospital patient care. This applies to EMS, fire, and law enforcement medical providers and agencies within the EMS system.
SCEMS delivers service from 18 posts throughout Sedgwick County.