Alberta Health Services (AHS) has developed a provincial model for Medical First Response (MFR). It formalizes what medical care is provided by medical first response agencies to ensure quality patient care. We worked with a medical first response expert advisory panel and their input, based on their experience and expertise, helped determine what types of training and qualifications should be required for medical first responders.
The goal is to build on the good aspects of the current services and support current medical first responder providers, to ensure safe care is provided to patients.
The advisory panel developed the following key principles for the program:
- Development and implementation of the provincial MFR program is patient-focused and evidenced based with AHS accountability for the delivery of safe patient care.
- Municipalities and organizations have the ability to determine whether or not they wish to participate in the MFR program based on their community interest, resources, capacity and ability to meet the program patient safety standards
- Level of care in a community is determined by the level of training of the MFR providers and in congruence with the MFR program standard. Level of care beyond the standard is considered in discussions between the community and AHS EMS Leadership and EMS Medical Directors
- Research evidence, skill level and training determine which events MFRs respond to in their individual communities.
- The partnership between each MFR agency and AHS, along with roles and responsibilities, is captured in a service agreement and reflected as membership in the provincial MFR registry
- The MFR program is based on best practice model and includes; medical oversight, medical care protocols, quality assurance/improvement and patient care documentation
- It is recognized that first responders play a number of roles in their community and the MFR framework only describes those events where AHS requests an MFR response and the medical first responder is engaged in patient care