One of the core tasks of medical directors of emergency medical services (EMS) is to ensure a high level of patient safety as well as high-quality care.
In this context, the aim of this concept was to develop a suitable format for understanding the challenges associated with these tasks that goes beyond a non-binding exchange and can identify concrete fields of action in terms of a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).
Materials and methods
For this purpose, the concept of physician peer review, as has been carried out for many years, particularly in intensive care medicine, was adapted with regard to generic terms such as “patient safety,” “quality assurance,” and “quality of care” in the EMS from the perspective of the medical directors, and checklists for a structured on-site assessment were developed. In the process, a total of 106 specific indicators were assigned to the following topics according to structural, process, and outcome quality: principles and organization of the EMS, staff, patients/relatives, quality indicators and objectives, controlling/reporting/implementation of the pyramid process.
The results of the visitation were compiled in each case in a detailed peer review report addressing the defined thematic areas and supplemented by a SWOT analysis with concrete aspects, and made available as structured feedback.
The developed peer review process for EMS medical directors is practicable and can be used in a structured manner. The feedback within the framework of a SWOT analysis proved to be target-oriented for the visited peers and is sufficiently concrete for the individual aspects, since any need for optimization could be derived directly from it.