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Hospitals Join Johnson County EMS Effort

MED-ACT ambulance An emergency services program in Johnson County, which includes MED-ACT, the county's ambulance service, has grown to include six area hospitals. (photo courtesy of Johnson County EMS)
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Six area hospitals have signed on to become paying partners in a Johnson County program aimed at providing the high-quality care to patients in need of emergency services.

Under an inter-local agreement approved Thursday by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners, the hospitals will contribute nearly $130,000 annually to the Medical Director Program.

The program has an annual budget of about $350,000. The hospitals’ contributions will replace an operating subsidy from the county.

The hospitals are the University of Kansas Hospital, Menorah Medical Center, Olathe Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Saint Luke’s South Hospital and Shawnee Mission Medical Center.

The advisory board that oversees the program will now include hospital representatives.

The Medical Director Program coordinates pre-hospital care among emergency responders, according to Dr. Ryan Jacobsen, medical director of the Johnson County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System. Other aims of the program, Jacobsen says, are to improve patient outcomes and ensure quality of service.

Also included in the program are nine area fire agencies and MED-ACT, the county’s ambulance service. The county’s Emergency Communications Center also participates.

The agreement culminates more than two years of negotiations, according to Jacobsen.

“We wanted collaboration as a full EMS system to include the hospitals that we transport patients to,” Jacobsen says. “We wanted their collaboration and a seat at the table in designing the goals and setting the direction for the Medical Director Program.”

Mike Sherry is a reporter for KCPT television in Kansas City, Mo., a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor team.

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