CHARLOTTE — Union Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has become one of only six emergency medical services in North Carolina to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS), according to a report from Atrium Health.
The three-year accreditation was based on an evaluation process and interviews with staff conducted by an independent panel of CAAS commissioners representing health care, law enforcement and business.
Applicants are reviewed on a number of standards, including agency management; clinical standards; quality improvement; financial management and strategic planning; relations with outside agencies; mutual aid and disaster coordination; community education and relations; human resources and personnel management; safe operations and risk management; vehicles, equipment, and facilities; and communications/dispatch.
“We have always been proud of the professionalism and competence of our Union EMS teammates, but it’s gratifying to have those qualities recognized by a prestigious international organization like CAAS,” said Bryan Edwards, chief, Union EMS, in a statement. “This accreditation should also reinforce the confidence of Union County residents that, if they ever need us, they will be given quality care second to none.”
Edwards said the CAAS was especially impressed with two areas of the organization — maintaining an overall diverse workforce and the modifications Union EMS makes to its ambulances. Instead of using the interior configuration of standard ambulances, Union EMS redesigns its ambulance interiors to improve patient safety and teammate efficiency.
The CAAS grew from a need identified by the American Ambulance Association in the early 1980s to develop and encourage high industry standards. Today, the independent CAAS is comprised of a board of representatives from the American Ambulance Association, the Emergency Nurses Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, the National Association of EMS Physicians, and the National Association of State EMS Directors.
Atrium Health manages and staffs Union EMS through a partnership with Union County.