the road to high reliability

Every day across the healthcare continuum, harm reaches patients, including Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Reducing patient harm must be a priority for all EMS leaders and clinicians, but how do you do it? 

Today, the phrase High Reliability is used to describe aspects of safety and trustworthiness. While high reliability should be every leader's goal, there are many foundational, or preparatory, steps required long before attainment. 

  • This webinar series from the Center for Patient Safety is dedicated to informing and educating the foundational steps required to start on the road toward high reliability.
  • EMS leaders and other subject matter experts will share their stories of improvement.
  • Learn real-world strategies and practical steps.

THANK YOU to our first responders and healthcare providers working so hard during this challenging time. The Center for Patient Safety started the series in January 2020, but postponed the webinars beginning in March due to COVID-19. The series continues in August 2020. 


Heads up EMS leaders!  How do you reduce clinical errors and create a culture of safety that supports staff to make the right decisions and choices?  As a leader, what steps should you take to monitor and improve the care that is being delivered at your agency?  Dr. Brian Froelke and Brian LaCroix will share actionable information and practical tips from an EMS Medical Director and EMS chief’s perspective.

Learn more: Leadership Spotlight

What is strategic planning, and how do I start?  Debby Vossenkemper will guide you through the process, including how to set goals and measure your success.  Jennifer Fletcher will share the real world and day-to-day realities of how a strategic plan can bring order to disorder.  Develop sound decision-making practices and learn how to use valuable resources most effectively. 

Learn more: EMS1 Article

“They did what?” Is that your response when a clinical error occurs?  Learn how to stop blaming and shaming people and instead create an organizational culture that learns from its mistakes. Shape your culture to create trust and shared accountability so staff will self-report mistakes. Learn how the right response to human errors and risky behaviors can improve processes, so mistakes don’t repeat themselves. Kathy Wire will provide an overview of the importance of reporting and investigating and just culture; followed by Brian LaCroix, who will offer first-hand experience of implementing culture change at an EMS organization. REGISTER

Learn More: EMS1 Article 


Ever make an error? Did you wonder why it happened? Paul Misasi will explain why we make errors and how we can learn more about them by understanding human factors. Isolate the problem, gather the facts, and look at engineering system controls.  Paul will discuss steps you can take to reduce medication errors and how to implement them at your agency. REGISTER

Learn more: EMS1 Article

Susan D. Scott, PhD, RN, CPPS, FAANHealth care workers involved in an unanticipated patient event, a medical error, or a patient-related injury can become traumatized by the incident. Frequently these individuals feel personally responsible for the outcome experienced by the patient. In some cases, clinicians feel that they have failed the patient. They also second guess their clinical skills and knowledge base, wondering if they should even work in health care. Dr. Susan Scott provides an overview of how you can develop and implement a peer-to-peer support program for colleagues suffering from a Second Victim exposure. REGISTER

Have you ever heard that “culture eats strategy for breakfast?”  What does that mean and why should you care? While the strategy is essential, cutting-edge organizations continually work to improve their safety culture, which results in better patient care and a safer environment for patients and providers.  Learn from Debby Vossenkemper and Colin Johnson as they share how systematically using the results of a patient safety culture survey continues to have a positive impact on entire organizations. REGISTER

The breakdown of communication often leads to clinical errors and the delay of appropriate care.   When information is lost or delayed, it can lead to poor outcomes and patient harm.  One of the most common places where communication failures occur is during the patient handoff.  Krista Haugen will share how you can improve communications with other clinicians and within your organization to reduce errors. REGISTER

How and why do you make improvements?  Mike Taigman will show you how to eliminate weak points or bottlenecks in your operations. Learn how to adopt and implement a process of improvement methodology. Find out how this leads to increased efficiencies, enhanced workplace environment, and safer patient care. REGISTER

EMS clinicians always want to improve their care.  Darick Day will show you how to improve patient care by systematically using a quality review process.  John Romeo will share the real-life ups and downs that occur when developing and implementing a peer-review process. REGISTER

How do you use simulation at your agency?  Jennifer McCarthy will describe how simulation can be used by leaders to optimize day-to-day operations while hardwiring safety culture.  Learn how simulation can be used to teach and reinforce a safety culture while improving clinical skills.  You will learn new ways to enhance the effectiveness of simulation beyond traditional thinking and reduce preventable patient harm within your organization. REGISTER

How reliable is the patient care at your agency? We’ll discuss the five concepts of highly reliable organizations and how they can be applied to the EMS industry. These proven concepts have helped many industries avoid catastrophes in high-risk environments. Find out where errors can be expected due to multiple risk factors and develop a culture that is focused on avoiding failure. Understand how to apply high reliability, even with the complexity of patient care challenges in EMS. REGISTER

The final webinar will feature stories from EMS agencies who have successfully made improvements that prevent patient and provider harm and improve patient safety culture.   Don’t miss the opportunity to learn what worked and what didn’t work as other EMS clinicians share their patient safety success stories. REGISTER


How Do you get there?

We have the solution.

Reducing patient harm must be a priority for all EMS leaders and clinicians. This year-long informational webinar series from the Center for Patient Safety offers critical, real-world tips and strategies to improve safety and reliability from subject matter experts, along with thoughtful discussion.

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  • CEUs provided
  • 12 webinars
  • All webinars are from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm CST
  • $350 for the series or $50/webinar
  • Purchase the series and receive access to all previous webinar recordings. CEUs not available for recorded sessions.

This continuing education activity is approved by Air Evac EMS Inc, an organization accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Pre-Hospital Continuing Education. CAPCE AELT0024 will assign 1 hour of CE at Management Level for each webinar. 


who should participate?

Designed for EMS chiefs, leaders, educators, administrators, innovators, medical directors, and managers to attend. Valuable learnings apply also to nursing homes, home care, medical offices, small hospitals, and more.


High reliability isn't achieved overnight. It takes knowledge and the right tools which should be accrued in the right order. In each session, you'll hear from successful EMS leaders. They will share their stories of safety, performance improvement, and high reliability, allowing time for you to adopt new practices, develop new processes, and measure your successes.


This Transformation Series would not be possible without our sponsors. Thank you for supporting our mission of reducing preventable harm! Please visit their website to learn more about their vision and mission.