What is High Performance EMS (HPEMS)?

“As EMS providers, we invite the public to literally trust us with their lives.  We advise the public that, during a medical emergency, they should rely upon our organization, and not any other.  We even suggest that it is safer to count on us, than the resources of one’s own family and friends.  We had better be right.

Regardless of actual performance, EMS organizations do not differ significantly in their claimed goals and values.  Public and private, nearly all claim dedication to patient care.  Efficient or not, most claim an intent to give the community its money’s worth.  And whether the money comes from user fees or local tax sources, the claim is the same—the best patient care for the dollars available.  It’s almost never true.

Our moral obligation to pursue clinical and response time improvement is widely accepted.  But our related obligation to pursue economic efficiency is poorly understood.  Many believe these are separate issues.  They are not.  Economic efficiency is nothing more than the ability to convert dollars into service.  If we could do better with the dollars we have available, but we don’t, the responsibility must be ours.  In EMS, that responsibility is enormous—it is impossible to waste dollars without also wasting lives.  Jack L. Stout