Next up in this week’s EMS news is a article I found on an Australian news site in Victoria. There’s a bit of an uproar there because Ambulance Victoria, the EMS service in that state has refused requests to release cardiac arrest survival data to the public. The reasoning is that it might cause problems in a labor dispute between paramedics there and the government.
(Note: I’ve amended this article with additional information from a commenter below. Check the end of the article for the comments, additional link and my response.)
Legal Loophole Used to Refuse Data Release
The government cited a loophole in their “Freedom of Information” law which says they don’t have to give up data which essentially would make them look bad. This is ridiculous and is a cautionary tale for EMS agencies around the world including here in the U.S.
First off, every EMS provider should know your agency’s cardiac arrest survival rates for the district and what they’re doing to improve those rates. The public should have access to that information as well. The fact that a labor dispute is going on is not a good enough reason in my book to turn around an refuse to release potentially embarrassing information.
EMS Cardiac Arrest Data Should Be Public
What are they afraid of? Everyone knows that people die from cardiac arrest. Sending that information out in a responsible way is how you inspire public health action like getting more people CPR certified. It is also the way that EMS organizations work to improve their treatment and techniques for managing specific patients like cardiac arrests. If the public thinks that the rates of survival should be better then they will be more likely to fund improvements in the system.
I’m curious to find out what you think about this article. Check out the link in the show notes and let me know your thoughts. Email them to me or leave a comment on show notes for this episode of the MedicCast. Either way, I look forward to hearing from you and maybe I can share some of them here on the show in the future.
Followup on the links to this news item and all the other articles and resources in this week’s episode show notes – One Pill Pediatric Overdoses and MedicCast Episode 408.