In Not Carrying Essential Drugs on an Ambulance, I wrote about the EMS problems in Clark County, Indiana. Not surprisingly, they seem to be choosing the simple solution of only addressing the most obvious culprit, rather than fixing all of the systemic problems.
The company said they are now in compliance with protocol for controlled substances and said they reached out to County Health Officer Kevin Burke to discuss the issue, but did not get a response. Company officials did admit a lack of communication on their part by prior management.
Prior Rural Metro management?
Wouldn’t it be more accurate to blame higher Rural Metro management?
The problem with their failure to carry controlled substances was reported to be due to another branch of the company failing to manage controlled substances to the satisfaction of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).
It’s because of a DEA investigation into Rural Metro Ambulance when they worked out of Louisville. There was morphine and Valium missing from ambulances and the DEA was trying to figure out who took the drugs. Because of that investigation their paramedics were banned from carrying certain medications, medications used to stop seizures.
How could higher Rural Metro management not know?
How could higher Rural Metro management not take appropriate steps to make sure that their ambulances meet at least the minimum standards?
Likewise, the DEA has to know what the effect of a prohibition of controlled substances would be for EMS.
The DEA is not blameless for remaining silent about an order to remove required medications from ambulances.
What kind of requirements do the regulators of Clark County have? I don’t know, but they were caught with their pants down.
Is anyone blameless?
I doubt it.
Is the solution to just get another ambulance company and leave everything else the same?
According to the brief article, the regulators of Clark County do not appear to be admitting that they failed to notice, or address, significant continuing problems.