PMID: 3525878Aug 22, 1986Paper

Medical control. Quality assurance in prehospital care

JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical Association
B HolroydG Kallsen

Abstract

Medical control is an essential component of a prehospital care system. It is a method of ensuring quality and accountability of the care provided and thus provides a method of risk management for the system. Politicians, fire departments, ambulance companies, physicians, and others are struggling for control of prehospital emergency care. Unless physicians are willing to become involved and provide leadership for prehospital care, it will be impossible to establish quality care. Physician input must be involved throughout planning, implementation, and evaluation of an EMS system. It is mandatory that physicians experienced in emergency care of the acutely ill or injured patient direct all medical aspects of the prehospital care system and provide ongoing review of the system. Medical control includes three phases: prospective, immediate, and retrospective. The incorporation of medical control in a specific EMS system will be dependent on that system's characteristics; nevertheless, proper medical control is essential to ensure a high quality of prehospital care. Further studies will be necessary to evaluate medical control and determine the best mechanism for providing quality assurance in prehospital care.

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