What is Patient-Centered EMS?

We exist to serve the people who call us when they need help.  It means that from the time the phone in the com center rings, to the time we transfer their care to someone else, we act in their best interest.  Often this is for something that does not meet our definition of an emergency, and while we are tired, hungry, and about to get out late.  From the patient’s perspective, this is true regardless of how their particular service is funded, the name on the truck that shows up, or if/how much the people who show up are paid.

Patient-centered EMS has a provider-friendly aspect.  The people who deliver care must be physically and mentally fit, rested, and comfortable before the next call.  There must be a healthy balance between work and personal lives.  The latest clinical guidelines must be considered when current protocols are applied.  It also means finding better ways to do things than how they have been done forever.  This type of service will attract the best caregivers.

This is a call to action.  We, the people who deliver care every day, are the ones responsible to deliver patient-centered service.  We must find the best treatment options for acutely sick patients, and find alternatives to care for patients who are not.  We must find safer ways to manage scenes get people to the hospital.  And we must advocate for our profession so that elected officials and our next door neighbors know how important our work is.

Please join the conversation to help make this happen.





  1. I couldn’t agree more. As an EMS educater and pain /vollie BLS provider I always tell my students to “treat EVERY patien the way you would want your family trated…unless they give you REAL GOOD reason not too”

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