CoxHealth EMS is taking center stage in recognition of achieving the most prominent distinction in 911 emergency communication services. The communication center is the 271st emergency dispatch center in the world to attain International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED™) status as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) for its use of the Medical Priority Dispatch System™ (MPDS®). This distinction places it among the very highest-performing emergency dispatch agencies in the world.
ACE inspires agencies to provide superior, industry best practices in public safety and to employ efficient use of resources when handling all emergency call situations. Accreditation requires an intensive self-assessment based on the IAED’s rigorous Twenty Points of Accreditation. In order to achieve accreditation, agencies must meet or exceed all twenty points of accreditation, which requires participation from the department chief down to the individual emergency dispatcher. Because ACE agencies abide by these standards and have fulfilled these requirements, callers can have peace of mind knowing their needs will always be appropriately addressed and that they will receive the help they need.
CoxHealth EMS is one of six emergency dispatch centers in Missouri to attain Medical ACE distinction.
Communication Manager Jordan Hembree is thrilled with the accomplishment. He said the recognition is a testament to everyone’s hard work and dedication to give the best service possible to the large population they serve. He also pointed out that this accolade puts the center in elite company.
“Our goal is to provide the best service for those who need us while maximizing the efficiency of the 911 system,” Hembree said. “By holding ourselves to the standards of accreditation, we know that we are providing the best care every call, every time. The significance to achieving Medical ACE for our center is to bestow upon our staff—the calltakers—the knowledge and achievement of only a few people in the industry.”
Hembree and the staff faced some challenges along the way. Some of the emergency dispatchers and quality assurance team members had learned different processes and protocols throughout their career, so getting everyone on the same page to adhere to the IAED’s standards wasn’t easy. Still, after some training and education, the entire CoxHealth team was ready to measure up.
The center’s success and accomplishments wouldn’t be possible without every single member of the organization’s contributions and talents.
“This achievement proves that we have some of the most dedicated, intelligent, prudent, and adaptable communication specialists in the industry,” Hembree said. “Without our staff’s keen ability to overcome adversity and adapt to changes, we would not have achieved ACE. The mission statement of our health system includes, ‘being the best for those who need us,’ so the buy-in to achieve ACE was easily explained within the culture of our organization.”
The IAED’s Board of Accreditation reviews the center’s application and documentation of the Twenty Points and conducts a thorough on-site visit.
“There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into achieving ACE status,” said IAED Chair of Accreditation Christof C. Chwojka. “We’re certainly proud of CoxHealth EMS and its accomplishment.”
Not only is this a significant milestone for the entire team at CoxHealth EMS, but Hembree said it can also bring peace of mind to local residents who call for emergency assistance.
“Residents within our service area should know that when they call 911 in their time of need, we are providing superior, up-to-date public care, and efficient resource utilization to achieve maximum results in the emergency situation,” Hembree said. “This is just another way that CoxHealth is improving the health of the communities we serve through quality health care, education, and research.”
Currently, more than 250 centers throughout the world have the ACE distinction among the 3,500 centers worldwide using the fire, police, medical, and nurse triage protocols for safe and efficient response to the wide variety of emergency situations.