Special Study of EMS Issues
The University of Southern Maine and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will collaborate to conduct a special study of EMS issues during Year 2 of the Flex Project (2004-05). The study will focus on state, community, and hospital level initiatives designed to build the infrastructure to support EMS service capacity and encourage the integration of these services into the rural healthcare infrastructure in the areas of quality improvement, financing, staffing, medical control, and networking and integration. Using data from multiple sources, the study will identify six "promising EMS practices" for further study and analysis. Telephone interviews will be conducted with the broad range of key informants involved with these programs to understand their goals and objectives, the development of these "promising practices," the resources and partnerships necessary to undertake these initiatives, the role of the Flex Program in supporting these initiatives, the barriers to implementation, and the extent to which these initiatives can be replicated by other states and communities. The study will focus on initiatives designed to build long term capacity to support and enhance EMS services at the hospital and community level.