What’s table stakes for Nairobi’s prehospital care guidelines

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) recently convened multiple EMS (Emergency Medical Services) stakeholder organizations, entities and leaders to assist with the development of standard operating procedures for emergency care services. The Constitution of Kenya (2010) and Health Act (2017) guarantees the right for Kenyans to obtain emergency medical treatment.

A 2015 African Federation for Emergency Medicine (AFEM) study highlighted key barriers that Kenyans encounter while accessing essential emergency services and called on the need to strengthen prehospital systems at the county and national levels.

It is in this backdrop that Nairobi county seeks to harmonize prehospital care and ambulance operator guidelines. We highlight key table stakes that serve as critical building blocks while mapping out the path forward and crafting EMS guidelines:

Utilize evidence based prehospital care guidelines with demonstrated positive patient outcomes and that are based on sound scientific evidence, use of effective research to improve health and local best practices for EMS

Develop a sustainability model that promotes the continuous refinement of prehospital care guidelines and funds ongoing operations and maintenance of EMS-related services.

Align with key strategic plans and key charter and policy documents to inform operational priorities and shape downstream activities.

Create an online single source of truth to coordinate the dissemination, versioning, implementation and evaluation of prehospital guidelines and create a robust feedback loop to accommodate stakeholder input.

Conduct ongoing systematic reviews to assess and evaluate the prehospital guidelines and ambulance operations against trusted clinical guidelines criteria.

As NMS embarks on the creation of harmonized prehospital care and ambulance operator guidelines, the need to convene key working groups, committees, educators and liaison groups will become apparent to break down existing siloes in the implementation of pre-hospital care across the county.