In an effort to evaluate their Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Department of Health, requested the assistance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in establishing a technical assistance team which would review Puerto Rico's EMS provider training program, the regional communication system, and the trauma system, as well as make specific recommendations on proposed Section 402 expenditures relating to EMS. Region II and the Division of Emergency Medical Services of NHTSA collaborated in establishing a team with specific expertise in trauma systems, facilities, training, and communications. The findings of the Technical Team are contained in this report. The Team found an EMS system that exceeded expectations. Briefly, the Team's major findings are as follows: Quality assurance and evaluation are critical tools for the EMS manager. Steps must be taken to implement a well-functioning and structured quality assurance and evaluation program. The need was found for comprehensive EMS and trauma legislation. There is some confusion about licensing, standards of practice, level of care, and authority/jurisdiction, all of which comprehensive EMS legislation could solve. The involvement of surgeons at all levels of planning and operations was conspicuous by their absence. Trauma is a surgical disease and surgeons must be involved. An organization was found whose success is based on the effectiveness of strong leadership and personality. Development of a management system, with well defined roles and responsibilities, and with appropriate delegation of responsibility will assure the longevity of the program. The Guajataca training facilities is an excellent concept and program. The team found the concept of integrating emergency medical technicians, nurses, and physicians together in an educational situation to be excellent, and a positive aspect of the EMS system. This facility and concept has great potential for the Spanish speaking countries in South America and should be pursued.

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: v.p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00496627
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-807 238
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1990 12:00AM