2016 Arizona Statewide Emergency Medical Services Needs Assessment (ASENA)
A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman Colege of Public Health In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Public Health
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Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is an institution and product of public health, health care, and public safety that is chopped and scattered across multiple jurisdictional deployment methodologies throughout Arizona. To fully-asses the EMS needs of the state, those jurisdictions are considered as a whole; for it is the whole that makes a system, and a system is what truly impacts patient outcomes. Evaluating the "whole" is the genesis and driver of the 2016 Arizona Statewide EMS Needs Assessment (ASENA).
The primary objective of ASENA is to establish a current "snap-shot" of EMS in the state while simultaneously identifying needs and/or areas that can be targeted for further analysis and/or improvement as part of Population Health Management and Emergency Medical Services Integration under the AZ Flex Grant funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). In addition, the secondary objective of ASENA is to compare and contrast this current "snap-shot" with data obtained in a more narrow needs assessment conducted in 2001, allowing comparison of changes in Arizona's critical access EMS system over 15 years.
To accomplish this, a 105-question needs assessment survey tool was developed and distributed to EMS agencies throughout the state. The fully-vetted survey tool collected information pertaining to sixteen core functional sections. Eighty-six agencies fully-completed the needs assessment survey tool, with respondents evenly distributed across the state's four EMS coordinating regions and representative of the various service-delivery methodologies. The combined service areas of the respondents cover over 85% of the state's population.
Arizona's statewide EMS system is well organized and positioned to deliver advanced levels of prehospital care for the vast majority of its citizens and visitors, with some variation between urban and rural regions. Key needs identified relate to: patient care reporting between EMS providers, emergency departments and receiving hospitals; quality assurance activities; education and skills training programs; dispatch system capabilities; mass casualty and public health preparedness; equipment and supplies; and more robust use of data and analyses to inform continuous EMS system improvement.