Variation in Emergency Medical Technician Partner Familiarity

Authors

  • P. Daniel Patterson,

    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3600 Forbes Avenue, Iroquois Bldg., Suite 400A, Pittsburgh, PA 15261; e-mail: pattersond@upmc.edu
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    • Address correspondence to P. Daniel Patterson, Ph.D., M.P.H., E.M.T.-B., Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3600 Forbes Avenue, Iroquois Bldg., Suite 400A, Pittsburgh, PA 15261; e-mail: pattersond@upmc.edu. Robert M. Arnold, M.D., Professor, is with the Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA. Kaleab Abebe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, is with the Institute of Clinical Research Education, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA. Matthew Carr, B.S., N.R.E.M.T.-P., Research Assistant, Matthew D. Weaver, B.S., N.R.E.M.T.-P., Research Assistant, and Donald M. Yealy, M.D., Professor and Chairman, are with the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA. Judith R. Lave, Ph.D., Professor, is with the Department of Health Policy and Management, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. David Krackhardt, Ph.D., Professor, is with the Heinz School of Policy, Management, and Information Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

  • Robert M. Arnold,

    1. Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • Kaleab Abebe,

    1. Institute of Clinical Research Education, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA.
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  • Judith R. Lave,

    1. Professor, is with the Department of Health Policy and Management, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
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  • David Krackhardt,

    1. Professor, is with the Heinz School of Policy, Management, and Information Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
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  • Matthew Carr,

    1. Research Assistant, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • Matthew D. Weaver,

    1. Research Assistant, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • Donald M. Yealy

    1. Professor and Chairman, are with the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA.
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Abstract

Objective. To characterize patterns of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) partner familiarity in three Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies.

Study Design/Data Sources. We utilized a case study design and retrospective review of administrative data from three EMS agencies and 182 EMTs over 12 months. We used the Kruskal–Wallis test and Bonferroni corrected p-values to compare measures of partner familiarity. Measures included the annual mean number of partners, rate of partners per 10 shifts, mean shifts per EMT, and proportion of shifts worked with same partner. We standardized select measures by size of agency to account for a greater number of possible partnerships in larger agencies.

Principal Findings. Across all agencies, the mean number of shifts worked annually by EMTs was (mean [SD]) 77.3 (59.8). The unstandardized mean number of EMT partnerships was 19.3 (12.4) and did not vary across EMS agencies after standardizing by agency size (p=.328). The unstandardized mean rate of EMT partnerships for every 10 shifts worked was 4.0 (2.7) and varied across agencies after standardizing (p<.001). The mean proportion of shifts worked with the same partner was 34.8 percent and varied across agencies (p<.001).

Conclusions. There was wide variation in select measures of EMT partner familiarity.

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