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06/01/2014

Medstar Receives Perfect Score in National Accreditation

Medstar Receives National Accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) has awarded Full Accreditation to Medstar Ambulance.  The Panel of Commissioners extended the commendation to Medstar for outstanding achievement in compliance with national standards for Best Practices in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Industry.  Medstar remains one of an elite group of only 166 EMS providers in the United States to successfully meet the standards of the Commission. Medstar has been accredited since 1998, and was one of the first EMS agencies in the state and country to seek the voluntary and exhaustive review.  The 2014 review resulted in Medstars third consecutive perfect score from the survey process.

The Commission is led by representatives from the American Ambulance Association, American College of Surgeons, American College of Emergency Physicians, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of EMS Physicians, National Association of EMTs, National Association of State EMS Directors, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

CAAS accreditation is based over 100 standards of excellence, and agencies seeking accreditation must submit extensive documentation demonstrating internal policies and external practices for patient care, personnel training, safety, legal compliance, and engagement with the communities and healthcare agencies served.  Upon completion of the external review by a national review panel, a team of surveyors is sent to the agency to review clinical programs, safety and business practices, and continuous quality improvement programs. Because the Commission’s standards far exceed state requirements, the state of Michigan exempts CAAS accredited agencies from its annual inspection process.

Following the Commission’s recent announcement, CEO Kolby Miller commented, “Medstar continues to meet the highest standards of the EMS industry, and we use external validation to validate our quality metrics and performance.  While anyone can claim to provide excellent care and transport, the external review from the Commission, as well as our patient satisfaction survey process, provides a level of proof that few others are able to demonstrate.”

Mark O’Halla, Chairman of the Medstar Board of Directors and the Chief Operating Officer of the McLaren Healthcare Corporation said “Maintaining such a prestigious accreditation over an extended period of time is an example of the organizational quality that Medstar represents. It shows that we’re leading our peers when it comes to providing clinical care, compassionate service, safety, and personnel development… and that we’re committed to demonstrating that excellence every day.”

CAAS is a non-profit organization which was established to encourage and promote Best Practices in America’s medical transportation system.  The focus of the Commission’s standards is high quality patient care, safety, and operational excellence.  The Commission established national standards, also known as the "Gold Standards", address not only the delivery of patient care, but the organization's overall quality and professional practices, including its relationships with other healthcare organizations, public safety agencies, the public, and other community stakeholders. 

Medstar Board Member and Clinton Township Supervisor Robert Cannon stated “I can’t think of any other agency that places the value on quality care and external review in the way that Medstar does.  Their commitment to excellence impacts every patient in the four counties that Medstar serves.  I’m deeply proud of the work that the personnel and leadership have done to maintain this accreditation, and their repeated perfect score speaks volumes about the organization.”

Upon hearing the CAAS decision, Eastepointe City Manager Steve Duchane said, “This accreditation represents Medstar’s commitment to the patients and communities they serve.  We value Medstars efforts to exceed our community’s expectations and we view accreditation as another positive measurement of their service.” 

Lapeer City Manager Dale Kerbyson said “We are always pleased to see an EMS agency seeking to validate its clinical care and organizational quality through an external process. Medstar has demonstrated a commitment to high quality care and community engagement since coming to Lapeer County.” 

Nationally, CAAS Accredited agencies include non-profit, for profit, municipal, fire department, and hospital based ambulance agencies.  Medstar is a not-for-profit organization started in 1993 when two Mt. Clemens area hospitals recognized the need for quality EMS service in the community, and that the cost of quality care could not be carried by local cities and townships.  In the 20 years since its formation, Medstar has grown to serve 2800 hundred square miles throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Lapeer counties, and transports over 80,000 patients annually.

Miller continued, “CAAS Accreditation represents a dedication to excellence from every one of the 340 people in our organization.  From our fleet mechanics to our field EMTs and paramedics, our communications and business office to our education personnel, this organization is fully committed to providing the highest quality, most compassionate patient care available in the communities and facilities that we serve.  We will continue to seek new ways to improve and provide value, and to integrate the highest standards of clinical care, safety, and performance throughout our organization.”

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