Highlighting the success of the Colonie EMS, Dr. Michael Dailey gave a speech at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions in Chicago on Nov. 13 to discuss the improved survival rates in survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients.
Dailey, associate professor of emergency medicine at Albany Medical College and medical director for Colonie EMS, said that what has contributed to the success of their program is the EMS' ability to look at the statistics and improve off of them.
Since the development of Colonie EMS, they have taken a system-wide approach, watched statistics and looked at the quality of improvements every month, he said, adding that this type of success can be present in any municipal's EMS department.
One of the biggest changes the department made was sending out an ambulance regardless of what type of situation it is instead of putting out a call to location and waiting to hear the priority of the response.
"It gets units moving in the right direction as soon as possible," he said. "It allows you to start moving the trucks and moving towards the location and saving time. That minute means a lot."
The team went from a four percent survival rate in 2005 to a 22 percent in 2009. Dailey said what contributed to that was a competent managing team, which included then Colonie EMS Chief Jon Politis and Deputy Chief Peter Barry who read the literature necessary and would review their process to improve quality.
"A group of professionals and EMT's willing to try new thing and that are willing to work in new ways for the success of their patients," he said. "And building a relationship with dispatch, police and the fire department to ensure we have a prompt recognition and prompt first response."
To spread their success, Dailey believes Colonie EMS must show other municipalities how to experience the same success it has in the past five years.