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REPORTABLE Incidents Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                  By Raphael M. Barishansky,
                                                                  MPH, EMT-B, & Daniel E. Glick,   reportable
                                                                  BPS, AEMT-CC                     incidents

                                                                                                   Jack Dagley Photography

Establishing policies and procedures for when calls go wrong
You are the newly appointed safety officer for the Tri-Community Volunteer Ambulance
Squad, and the assignment seems to be under control while you take various OSHA-type
classes and learn the ropes. One night, you are awakened by a phone call from a panicky
squad member, who tells you, “I was involved in an accident with one of the trucks and the
patient was thrown from the stretcher. I think he’s hurt really bad…who do I need to notify
about this?” You think you need to notify the state EMS office, but you’re not sure how or
under what time frame. You wonder if the regional EMS authority has a reportable-incident
policy, and think, “Nobody told me about all this stuff when I agreed to become the safety
officer. Why don’t we have a written policy for things like this?”

                                                       EMS MARCH 2009             43

                      WHAT IS A                                 dance with statewide treatment pro-        policy and procedure to ensure it is
                      REPORTABLE                                tocols resulting in serious injury or      following all applicable federal and
                                                                patient death.                             state rules and mandates, as well as
                      INCIDENT?                                   • Injuries or death to a patient while   protecting itself from liability follow-

                        Almost every state’s guiding EMS
                      legislation and/or governing author-
                      ity has a definition of a reportable
                                                                in EMS’ care.
                                                                  • Inappropriate use of a medica-
                                                                tion or device that results in serious
                                                                                                           ing an incident. The following state-
                                                                                                           ment from a San Francisco policy
                                                                                                           titled “Performance Management
                      incident (sometimes referred to as        injury to the patient.                     Reporting” provides a simplified defi-
 officer will         a reportable event), as well as a time      • EMS vehicle accident, whether or       nition of some applicable reportable
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