Programs and Activities

Programs & Activities

EMS System Development
The EMS and Trauma Systems Section is statutorily responsible for development and management of the EMS, injury prevention and trauma system needs of the state. Recently, the Section formed an EMS System Task Force of individuals across the state representing many different disciplines. The task force is currently developing an EMS Plan which identifies the most significant problems, goals and activities related to improving Montana's EMS system.

Trauma System Development
This program is responsible for the planning and oversight of the Montana Trauma Care System including: facility, regional, and statewide system development; statewide trauma registry development and data analysis; regional and statewide system evaluation and quality improvement; trauma center consultation and designation; trauma education and technical assistance medical personnel and facilities; public information and injury prevention. A revised trauma plan and trauma rules are being developed. Quarterly meetings of a state Trauma Care Committee and three regional trauma committees facilitate ongoing planning and quality improvement for the trauma system.

Prevention Program
The goal of this program is to reduce Montana’s very high injury and death rates. The Injury Prevention and Control Coordinator gathers and analyzes information from multiple data sources to identify where and how the injuries are occurring; to design injury prevention and control strategies; and to evaluate and improve both the programmatic and cost effectiveness of the prevention strategies. The Coordinator works cooperatively with and leads organizations, agencies, health care institutions, health care providers and others to implement and to evaluate injury prevention and control programs consistent with data-driven, injury prevention and control plan.

Emergency Medical Services for Children
This is a grant funded program which focuses on improving pediatric emergency care, especially for special populations of children. As this program emphasizes pediatric injury prevention, many of the efforts are focused on family centered care and family advocacy, inclusion of pediatric care components in plan documents, and improving care for special needs children. There is also a significant emphasis on training of medical professionals, coalition building, data collection, and comprehensive planning.

EMS Service Licensing & Complaint Investigation
The Section manages the EMS service inspection and licensing program (non-transporting units, air and ground ambulance services), coordinates the statewide EMS transportation system, and coordinates enforcement activities. Activities include approval of license applications, inspections, and technical support to services for a broad range of EMS and transportation issues. Additionally, complaints about EMS services are investigated and enforced as needed.

Advanced Trauma Life Support (ALS) Education
Co-sponsored by the Section, the Montana Committee on Trauma and several hospitals, this course for physicians and physician extenders is the standard for teaching initial care and stabilization of trauma victims. Becoming ever more popular, 4-5 courses a year are coordinated.

Prehospital Data Project
This project, to be phased in over several years, will facilitate collection of prehospital care data, a critical need for our EMS system. This project includes development of web-based data collection software for local services and the state, followed by comprehensive education on how to use that data for management and quality improvement activities. Eventually, this will support a ‘services of excellence’ program to support and move EMS services to a more comprehensive public health approach to delivering services.

Public Information and Education
The EMS & TS Section provides technical assistance to local emergency medical services providers. This includes individual community assistance, the conduct of various education programs and the preparation of manuals and handbooks for local personnel.

The Section (through an MOU with the Montana Hospital Association) administers the POLST, prehospital Do-Not Resuscitate Program for terminally ill and seriously ill patients. Administrative rules and procedures are in place and POLST documents and materials are made available to physicians to issue to their patients.

Unprotected Exposure
Rules are administered which allow physicians to report information about certain diseases to prehospital providers who may have had contact with and who have sustained an unprotected exposure to the blood or body fluids of a patient. The Section makes report forms available to facilities and services and acts as a coordination point for dissemination of that program.

Montana Poison Control System
The Montana Poison Control system provides assistance to over 11,000 callers per year. Montana contracts with the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center (RMPDC) in Denver to provide expert poison information and management services to Montana citizens and visitors and to provide clinical toxicological services to Montana's health care professionals. DPHHS provides a toll-free telephone line for citizen access, widely advertises the number and provides poison information and prevention materials to Montana citizens.

Medical Response to Disaster Planning
Current funding sources are being utilized to assist with planning, education and supplies to enable EMS and trauma services to be better prepared for bioterrorism and disasters. Current projects include providing disaster equipment and supplies to EMS services; development of a response system for mass casualty incidents; development of a statewide communications plan; and development of statewide mutual aid agreements.

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