By Jeff Clawson, M.D.
Follow the Protocol and Avoid Liability” is as relevant today as it was when published 20 years ago in the forerunner of the Journal of Emergency Dispatch.
The article addresses liability, specifically who in the chain of command should accept responsibility in two very different but not altogether uncommon situations involving MPDS Determinant Descriptors (and 20 years later, also the PPDS and FPDS).
Both situations look at liability from the post-dispatch perspective.
The first situation asks: What if the EMS officer in charge changes the Determinant Descriptor from a COLD to a HOT run contrary to the code the EMD provided despite policy stating that’s against regulations?
The second situation asks: What if EMS arrives on scene and finds a medical situation contrary to the information provided by the EMD? Who’s going to take the blame for a response that falls short of expectations?
The answer is in the method used to develop the protocol systems. From the time Dr. Jeff Clawson, IAED co-founder and inventor of the Protocol system, jotted down his concept on notecards to the sophistication of ProQA, his approach has always involved academic and medical research, advice from fellow experts, and the voice of the emergency dispatchers using the protocol as it was meant to be used.
“We are an inclusive Academy providing the highest quality research in the continued development of our protocol systems,” Dr. Clawson said. “By following the way it is scripted and using the most current versions, you are guaranteed the best protection against liability.”