A national model for developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based guidelines for prehospital care

Eddy S. Lang, Daniel W. Spaite, Zoe J. Oliver, Catherine S. Gotschall, Robert A. Swor, Drew E. Dawson, Richard C. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


In 2007, the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) Committee on the Future of Emergency Care recommended that a multidisciplinary panel establish a model for developing evidence-based protocols for the treatment of emergency medical systems (EMS) patients. In response, the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) and the Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS) convened a panel of multidisciplinary experts to review current strategies for developing evidence-based guidelines (EBGs) and to propose a model for developing such guidelines for the prehospital milieu. This paper describes the eight-step model endorsed by FICEMS, NEMSAC, and a panel of EMS and evidence-based medicine experts. According to the model, prehospital EBG development would begin with the input of evidence from various external sources. Potential EBG topics would be suggested following a preliminary evidentiary review; those topics with sufficient extant foundational evidence would be selected for development. Next, the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology would be used to determine a quality-of-evidence rating and a strength of recommendation related to the patient care guidelines. More specific, contextualized patient care protocols would then be generated and disseminated to the EMS community. After educating EMS professionals using targeted teaching materials, the protocols would be implemented in local EMS systems. Finally, effectiveness and uptake would be measured with integrated quality improvement and outcomes monitoring systems. The constituencies and experts involved in the model development process concluded that the use of such transparent, objective, and scientifically rigorous guidelines could significantly increase the quality of EMS care in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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