State successes: Collaborative case reviews

  • Published November 30, 2023
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We all know the old adage: it takes a village… and nothing could be more true than when it comes to the efforts of EMSC State Partnership program managers. This month we sat down with Massachusetts' EMSC manager, Ben Palmere, to talk about a newly launched case review series and how states worked together to facilitate this effort.

Tell us about your new educational series.

In Massachusetts we’ve started a new initiative called The EMS Case Review. The goal is to have EMS and hospital providers come together to present on a patient they worked on together. While facilitated by members of the Massachusetts EMSC Advisory Committee, the focus is really on the providers to present directly to a statewide EMS audience and to highlight the excellent clinical care and patient outcomes, discussing both the successes and pitfalls of the case. This is in tandem with Dr. Joyce Li’s [MD MPH, New England PECC network director and MA EMSC regional liaison] initiative of hosting ED case review sessions throughout New England.

Can you explain where this idea came from, and how you got started?

Our Advisory Committee has wanted to do an educational session like this for some time, and then we learned Vermont EMSC was doing this exact thing. They have been hosting similar sessions for two years now and were kind enough to let Massachusetts EMSC join a few sessions to help us get started! We took this idea back to our committee, and one of the physicians on our Advisory Committee, Dr. Ian Goodman [MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at UMass Chan Medical School - Baystate] identified the first cases. We then reached out to the EMS services and asked if they’d participate. We had one service that was particularly enthusiastic and we met with them and Dr. Goodman to review the case together. After that, we were off and running for our first session in September.

Did you have any initial challenges or barriers to launching this type of program?

Our biggest challenge remains finding cases. We know there are lots of cases with great pediatric prehospital care but people can be modest and don’t want to put themselves on a pedestal. We have a few ways that we are gathering cases for review like this; we allow cases to be submitted that would be a good fit for review, and we also have physicians and others in our EMS community on the lookout for cases as well. I think as we gain more traction, it will be easier for us to find new cases.

What kind of attendance did you get from your first session? Have you received feedback from the providers on what they thought?

Our first session had about 150 attendees! Most were EMS providers, though the sessions are open to anyone who would like to join. The feedback was very positive with people requesting more sessions in the future!

That’s a great turnout! Are you hosting these sessions virtually, or in person, and how often?

We host these online. It makes it much more accessible to people, whether they are working, at home etc, and we can reach a broader audience. The initial goal is to host these sessions quarterly for right now - though we are allowing some flexibility on that due to finding cases and people willing to present in these early sessions.

Are there any other exciting things going on with Massachusetts EMSC that you want to highlight?

Right now we’re also in the midst of our pediatric virtual reality training for EMS. Maine EMSC has been doing a similar program for a few years now and after some discussions with Marc Minkler [the Maine program manager], we thought a similar program might be a good fit here in Massachusetts. We’re also in the planning stages for some educational simulation sessions for next year.