What Even is a “Progressive EMS System?” - Tom Grawey, DO
I’m fortunate enough to get out and interact with EMS providers from all over, whether it’s in person or virtually over twitter. Not uncommonly when engaging in conversations about our “shops” I hear the phrase “We have progressive protocols” or “We have a really progressive EMS system.” I’ve heard this phrase so much, I started to wonder what even IS a progressive EMS system?
A quick google search tells that Webster’s Dictionary calls progressive “characterized by progress” and “moving forward or onward.” From my experience, when people tell me they belong to a progressive EMS system, what they’re ultimately trying to say is that their guidelines, equipment, or policies allow them to do more. Progressive EMS systems have guidelines for drug facilitated airway management. Progressive EMS systems bring ED care to the field. When I was a new medical director, my goal was to lead an EMS system where my medics would be proud to say they belong to a progress