In 2012, Washington County EMS implented the benchmarks. No longer are the days of “we think or believe that call went well.” We wanted a more measureable process. The benchmarks were created to measure specific critical areas for quality improvement. The areas we are monitoring at this time include; Pain Management, Cardiac Arrest, Chest Pain, RSI, Respiratory Emergencies, and Emergency Out of County Transfers.
In 2011 the department was approved a phased-in approach to bringing the new LP-15 into the hands of our paramedics. Through the financial assistance of the LCRA Community Development Partnership Grant we have also deployed the new piston driven battery powered LUCAS II mechanical CPR device. The device is just one piece in a collaborative group of improvements to the departments’ SCA protocols with the overall goal of improving ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) and ultimately patient survival from SCA. Another improvement was the protocol addition of the MAD devices. The device gives our paramedics another route to administer life saving medications to high risk seizure patients or certain pediatric populations. In 2017 our paramedics began drawing blood cultures in the field on septic patients in order to improve patient outcome. In that year, the department obtained a Zoll EMV+ ventilator to better aid in the management of critical patients. In 2018 the department introduced the ResQPUMP to pair with the ResQPOD in order to form the ResQCPR system. We are currently working with EMSPOCUS in a study to perform ultrasound in the prehospital emergency setting. There are 5 Butterfly IQ ultrasound devices allocated to the ambulances and squads to facilitate the study. The county implemented the EleGARD into the cardiac arrest protocol as a “heads up CPR.” This will help normalize the patient’s intracranial pressure, which in turn will decrease the effects of brain injury during cardiac arrest.