word. A patient does not have a choice when calling for emergency medical services. A patient does not have the opportunity to shop around when calling for emergency medical services. A patient is in their most vulnerable state when calling for emergency medical services. EMS providers need to be mindful of this, and while we recognize that patients are indeed customers and consumers of our service, they are also in a fragile state of mind or body, and require an up- close, empathetic, and personal approach, not an aggressive sales pitch. In this section, we put it all together by concentrating on a concept that has its roots in private industry and is well established in the business community. Companies known for their excellent products and services rely on their ability to capture and hold a market share. This concept has been slow to make its way into the public sector, because very often, the local EMS agency views itself as “the only game in town” and there is generally little competition among providers of emergency services. Market share in our world is limited to individuals who have the misfortune to become acutely ill or injured in unplanned events that require emergency response, and thus, we are not in a position to aggressively seek out our customers by slick advertising and catchy phrases or jingles. Customers seek us out, based on emergent necessity, and do not have the choice to shop
Maine EMS Quality Improvement Program January 2012 14 around for the best bargain. Because of the realities of what EMS providers do, we tend to become complacent when it comes to marketing ourselves and striving to provide the best product we can on a consistent basis. This manual is designed to provide modern-day leaders, managers, and providers of emergency medical services with the information and tools necessary to monitor their service, with an eye towards transitioning from data collection and analysis to action points of change. In order to successfully use quality improvement findings to promote positive behavior within services or regions, we need to fully understand the implications of what makes some businesses more successful than others, and apply those principles to every day operations. Often seen in the first pages of any basic prehospital training textbook is a picture of a uniformed EMT or paramedic in perfect attire, stethoscope around his/her neck, holding a blood pressure cuff with a caption beneath saying “a professional appearance inspires confidence.” Instructors offer that appearance is synonymous to quality of patient care. With the advent of customer care surveys, professional appearance does rank high. However, customer service practice goes deeper into the caring and compassion provided to a customer.
- Fall '19
- Maine EMS