Mecklenburg EMS Agency (MEDIC) is the Emergency Medical Services provider for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC metropolitan area. The executive director, Joe Penner, is a longtime student of improvement science and regularly attends the Institute for Healthcare Improvement National Forum and is a certified Improvement Advisor through IHI’s professional development program.
Joe studied Dr. Deming’s concept of viewing an organization as a system (Out of Crisis, Pg. 4) and was intrigued with its potential application in an EMS organization. The Associates in Process Improvement built in Dr. Deming’s work and described the systems view as a linkage of processes (API, Quality as a Business Strategy). Joe wondered what would happen if his leadership team could map MEDIC using this approach and then identify opportunities for improvement that could be the basis of their future strategic planning. The project has aligned lead team members, enhanced discussion about core business processes, and introduced measurement for learning that will allow a targeted portfolio of projects to tackle in 2013.