April 3, 2012
News from the CoAEMSP

In This Issue
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Upcoming Events

CoAEMSP Webinar,
1 pm Central Time
(Topic & registration to be announced)

CoAEMSP Quarterly Board Meeting,

MAY 18
CAAHEP Board of Directors Meeting,

JUNE 28-29
Accreditation Workshop:
Steps to Success,

JULY 18-19
CAAHEP Board of Directors Meeting,
Las Vegas

CoAEMSP Quarterly Board Meeting,
Washington DC

Accreditation Workshop:
Steps to Success,

CAAHEP Board of Directors Meeting,

CoAEMSP Quarterly Board Meeting,

CAAHEP Board of Directors Meeting,
Quick Links
CoAEMSP Website

CAAHEP Website

NREMT Website

Institute of Medicine Report

National EMS Scope of Practice

EMS Agenda for the Future

Education Standards

National EMS Core Content 
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

American Ambulance Association (AAA)

 American College of Cardiology (ACC)

American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)


 American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP)

 American College of Surgeons (ACS)

 American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

 International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)

 National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians (NAEMSP)

 National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)

 National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE)

 National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO)

 National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) 

A Look in the Mirror: 

Evaluating Program Strengths and

By Patricia L. Tritt, RN, MA


The accreditation process is outcome based. In other words, the focus of the education program--and therefore the review of the program--is on the performance of the graduates rather than on the process of the education. What does this mean for programs? For example, are you teaching to a text or are you teaching to develop a competent entry level Paramedic? Texts are teaching tools, not an education.

Are you teaching to have students pass a certifying exam--while admittedly important--or are you teaching to develop a competent entry level Paramedic?

Exams of any kind are merely snapshots in time. The laser focus must always be on producing a competent product--in this case Paramedic graduates.

Frequent assessment of the students and of the education program is essential to determine program strengths and weaknesses (opportunities).

Programs are typically familiar with--and comfortable with--student assessment, but have a much less structured approach to looking in the mirror for an adequate, and frank, assessment of the program.

Where to start?

1. Begin with a re-review of the Standards and Guidelines from a fresh perspective. Ask the tough questions: not only do we do this (the Standard), but what does the Standard really mean, how do we do it, how well do we do it, and what do we need to change?

2. Avoid answering what you can do and instead focus on what should you do.

3. Determine strengths and weaknesses using these practices and mechanisms:
  • Students evaluate faculty/instructors frequently. Incentives are provided for open, frank, constructive feedback. Feedback is acknowledged and information is relayed on what changes have been made or will be made based on their input.  
  • Students evaluate program courses or components frequently with the same caveats as above.  
  • Students evaluate adjunct or skill instructors frequently.  
  • Faculty, Advisory Committee members, the Program Medical Director, and any other stakeholders complete the Program Personnel Resource Survey at least annually and responses are analyzed and recommendations are implemented.  
  • Students complete the Student Resource Survey at least annually.  
  • Graduate and Employer Surveys are completed six months following program completion and responses are analyzed and recommendations are implemented.  
  • Preceptors evaluate your program.  
  • Students evaluate their preceptors.  
  • Students evaluate the clinical sites and experiences.   
  • Faculty members observe and provide feedback to each other.

4. Complete a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). This process can include any and all stakeholders. Think broadly and use a brainstorming approach.

5. Evaluate the clinical and field resources and student experiences. Do students have difficulty meeting program minimum requirements for patient assessments and skills?

6. Determine the student pass rates on the state or National Registry (NREMT) certifying exams and the first-time pass rate.

7. Determine the attrition/retention rate and identify, categorize, and analyze the factors.

8. Determine the placement rate for graduates. Do graduates have difficulty finding Paramedic positions and if so why? Do employers report that your graduates require more orientation and precepting than graduates from other programs?

9. Write and track all of these assessments and documents, and document the resulting changes. Create an intuitional memory.

Finally, visit or speak with other programs and compare your experiences. We often become insular and find it difficult to think outside of our own 'box'. Educators are usually willing to share, so actively seek outside perspectives. Outcome-based education must assess and document entry level competence. Assessment requires multiple levels and techniques of evaluating our strengths and weaknesses and a willingness to look in the mirror.

What is a Realistic Deadline to Write
and Complete the ISSR? 

by Michael A. Belcher BS, AAS, NREMT-P,
Southwestern Community College

How long should a program expect to take to write the first ISSR? When I began the journey to our first accreditation I did not have a clear expectation of how long it should take. I thought I could have it finished in about 3-4 months. As I went through all the steps I learned that my expectation was greatly underestimated. It took me a little over 2 years to complete and have it ready to submit.

My suggestion to anyone who has started or who is about to start their first self-study, is to set a realistic timeline for yourself and stick to it. I found that it is easier to break the process into steps and work on the steps one at a time until you have finished, then move on to the next.

Phase one
should include downloading and organizing all the documents and templates you will need to complete. Keep all the information in a binder for easy reference later. Read through all the material slowly and carefully as this will help you set your timeline and help you stay on track.

Phase two
will include setting up a meeting with all the departments who will be involved in this process. You will need to let everyone know what is expected of them and what information they will need to help you assemble for the self-study. You may need to set up individual meetings with the dean, vice president and the president of the school to let them know what you are planning and what assistance you will need from them. Depending on how your organization is set up you may need to meet the finance committee to get the funding approved. This process is the hardest to plan for, depending on the schedules of these department heads.

After you have all the necessary information assembled in one place you are ready to sit down and write your self-study. Give yourself enough time to thoroughly evaluate each question on the study and answer in as much detail as possible, as this will help on the site visit. After you have completed the first draft of the document schedule a meeting with the dean and have him/her proofread the study. After you have made any revisions to the documents have another person read through and make any final revisions. The next step is to let the school know you are ready to submit the document and allow them to proofread and approve it. You will need the college president's signature on the final draft before it is submitted.

This timeline may or may not work for everyone, but I hope it will be of some value as you begin your journey to being accredited.

GOOD Luck!

Take Advantage of these Learning Opportunities   




Join us for an informative workshop, which will include the:

  • Concept and overview of accreditation
  • Process of accreditation
  • Steps to the self study report with examples
  • Site visit process--how to prepare for it and what happens during and after the visit
  • Common stumbling blocks to accreditation and how to overcome them

Following the conclusion of the workshop at noon on Friday, June 29, 2012, Dr. Hatch, Mr. York and Ms. Cason will be available for individual 15 minute sessions from 1:00 - 3:00 pm.  These special 15 minute sessions will be based on time availability.  A sign-up roster will be available at the beginning of the workshop. 


June 28-29, Pittsburgh   

Register Now



August 6-7, Orlando at NAEMSE Annual Symposium   




Responding to the Findings Letter & Submitting a Progress Report

Thursday, May 3 @ 1PM Central Time


Facilitators: Pat Tritt, RN, MA and George Hatch, EdD, LP, EMT-P


After digesting the contents and information requested in a Findings Letter or preparing a Progress Report, preparing an appropriate response is critical.  Questions may be: What exactly are they asking for, what specifically do I need to submit, and how much detail is expected?  Sometimes, in the effort to respond to the request for required information, programs actually send too much data that may not be concise or does not address the citation.  This "information overload" can result in further delay in demonstrating satisfactorily meeting the requirement and the need to submit another progress report, or add an additional reporting period.


Register Now  




CoAEMSP Site Visits: Before, During & After 

Learn the process for coordinating and hosting a CoAEMSP/CAAHEP site visit. You'll find out what to do to prepare, what to expect during the site visit, and what is expected after the site visit occurs. 


Annual Reports & Resource Assessment    

Medical Director Responsibilities

Preceptor Training







During the NAEMSE Annual Symposium


CoAEMSP will offer a Site Visitor Workshop during the NAEMSE Annual Symposium in Orlando this August. This 4 hour pre-conference workshop, along with the three "Standard Interpretations" sessions on the program, will constitute a Site Visitor Training workshop. Attendees must be qualified as Site Visitors and approved through CoAEMSP. The pre-conference session will cover the process for conducting a site visit, the questions and methods for the visit, the schedule to be used and the report that must be completed. (Interpretation sessions during the conference will go over Standards interpretation for each section of standards.) Additionally, responsibilities to the CoA will also be discussed.


To apply to become a site visitor complete and submit the Site Visitor application found  here, along with 2 letters of recommendation and a current CV to In addition, successfully pass the CAAHEP Site Visitor quiz found here. If your application is accepted, you will be registered for the Site Visitor Workshop. The CoAEMSP will notify you within 14 days of receipt of the completed application packet. The schedule for the Site Visitor Workshop and the Interpretations of the CAAHEP Standards is:


Tuesday, August 7, 1-5 pm, Site Visitor Workshop

Wednesday, August 8, 2:45-3:45pm,
Interpretations of CAAHEP Standards, Part I*

Thursday, August 9, 12:30-1:30pm,
Interpretations of CAAHEP Standards, Part III*

Thursday, August 9
, 4:45-5:45pm,
Interpretations of CAAHEP Standards, Part II*


*The Site Visitor Workshop is reserved for those approved. Last date to submit the application and be considered for the Site Visitor Workshop is July 1. The Interpretations of the CAAHEP Standards is open to all attendees. Register with NAEMSE for the Interpretations sessions here.
Register Now

Meet Board Member  

Robert Fromm, Jr., MD 


Robert Fromm 

Robert is the Senior VP and Chief Medical Officer for Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix, Arizona. He is also Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.  


Prior to his current positions, Robert was Co-Director of the Fondren Coronary Intensive Care Unit; Director of Aeromedical and Emergency Services; and Professor in the Department of Medicine, Weill School of Medicine, Cornell University at The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas.  

Among his many professional activities and administrative roles, Robert was Medical Director of the Astrodome USA from 1992-2000. He has been s a member of the Board of Directors for CoAEMSP since 2000, and has been Secretary-Treasurer since 2005. He also served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Healthcare Accreditation Services Corporation from 2006-2008.  


Robert has also been on many editorial boards, serving as reviewer, as well as International Editor for  Neumología y Cirugía del Tórax, and United States Associate Editor for Critical Care & Shock. He has written abstracts for numerous publications.  


Professional associations he has previously or currently been a part of include the American College of Physician Executives, American College of Physicians, American Federation for Clinical Research, American College of Emergency Physicians, Aerospace Medicine Association, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, and Air Medical Physician Association.  


Robert received his MD from Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago. He also holds a Master of Public Health  and a Master of Science from the University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston.  

Meet Our Sponsors:

National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians


The NAEMSP® is an organization of physicians and other professionals partnering to provide leadership and foster excellence in out-of-hospital emergency medical services.

The National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians (NAEMSP) is comprised of physicians and other professionals working together to promote excellence in out-of-hospital emergency medical services.

The NAEMSP was founded in 1984 by EMS leaders from across the U.S. Today, the NAEMSP consists of over 1,100 EMS professionals including physicians, paramedics, nurses, administrators, educators, researchers and key EMS personnel. With one of the organization's major goals being to improve out-of-hospital emergency medical care, the NAEMSP sponsors meetings, publications and products that connect, serve and educate its members. Another important role of the NAEMSP is being a resource and advocate of EMS related decisions. This is achieved by partnering with national organizations, the community at large, and Federal Government agencies.

Since EMS physicians come from various disciplines, and non-physicians encompass an unlimited range of professions, it is the continuing role of the NAEMSP to coordinate and focus advances in medical care, research and training in each of these fields as they relate to EMS.

Approximately twenty four committees carry out the work of the NAEMSP, including Air Medical Services, Asian Relations, Canadian Relations, Research, Pediatrics, Emergency Preparedness, Fireground/HAZMAT, International Affairs, Development and others.

Ronald G. Pirrallo, MD serves as the current President of the NAEMSP, with Ritu Sahni, MD as President-Elect.    

Representing the NAESMP on the CoAEMSP board are Sabina Braithwaite, MD, and Paul Sirbaugh, DO.  



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Jennifer Anderson Warwick, MA