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EmCare Increases its Focus on Innovation

Posted on Tue, Apr 08, 2014

InnovationThis post is part of EmCare’s 4-part Innovation series where we highlight what innovation means to members of EmCare’s leadership. Follow this series each Tuesday to discover our commitment to innovation in health care.

By Jennifer Whitus, Envision Healthcare Marketing Communications Manager

Finding innovative ways to deliver, manage and improve healthcare has never been more critical than it is right now. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act and other widespread healthcare reform, tens of millions more people are poised to overwhelm a healthcare system that’s already being taxed with budget challenges, reimbursement woes and staffing shortages.

While innovation in healthcare isn’t new, the Innovation Committee for EmCare is. Formed at the national strategic planning meeting in late 2013, EmCare CEO Todd Zimmerman decided that forming such a panel could renew and crystallize EmCare’s company-wide focus on innovation.

“We at EmCare have a tremendous advantage in that we have a management team unmatched in terms of talent and creativity,” said Zimmerman. “It’s evident in the way we conduct our business and in the way we seek new and different ways to address challenges and improve care in the company.

In this time of constant change in healthcare, more than ever before we Zimmermanneed to be diligent about implementing these ideas quickly on a national basis. I think the innovation group will help us achieve this objective.”

The short-term mission of the committee will be to harvest ideas and evaluate the viability and suitability of implementing these ideas on a regional or national level. The committee will also develop processes for collecting ideas, carrying them out and then tracking the implementation and ensuing results.

Innovation is a broad term with wide-reaching meaning: within the scope of healthcare it can imply revolutionary methods to treat patients, perform surgeries or conduct lab work. It can encompass the improvement of quality, safety and effectiveness of patient care. It can involve costs, budgets and billing, or cover staffing models, hospital protocols or management techniques. Technology that reduces variability and errors, identifying patients most likely to seek treatment before they’re admitted and constant improvements to electronic medical records – all areas ripe for innovation, all areas improved through EmCare’s innovations.

“Innovation has always played a dynamic role in healthcare,” said Zimmerman. “However, the need for innovation is magnified with all of the new challenges facing healthcare and the uncertainties around healthcare reform. We can’t successfully navigate these challenges as an industry or as a nation without innovative ideas to drive more efficient care, better care coordination and better communication with patients. I think companies like EmCare have an obligation to do our part to contribute ideas and solutions to the industry in order to better serve our patients and clients.”

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