WDM EMS and the Iowa EMS Alliance

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The Iowa EMS Alliance was formed in 2008. It is a 28 E agreement, as a public/private partnership, between the City of West Des Moines and Unity Point Hospitals (Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Methodist West Hospital, Iowa Lutheran Hospital, and Blank Children's Hospital).

The established key principals for this organization are:

  • emergency response - quality of 911 EMS access and response times for WDM must be maintained
  • quality - the organization will maintain a highly trained staff with a strong focus on delivering high quality care
  • operational effectiveness - organization will focus on being highly efficient to maximize resources and revenues
  • service expectations - will improve the service and response issues suffered by Unity Point Health transport teams
  • improved staffing and training - paramedics will have the ability to assist in the ER and Critical Care Units, allowing for expanded knowledge and expertise

The employees on the Alliance ambulances work in coordination with the specialty teams of Unity Point (neonatal and pediatric transport teams, as well as Lifeflight) to transport patients, typically at an ALS or critical care transport level. Besides working with the transport teams, these employees also get to perform skills in the hospital, including, but not limited to IV starts, blood draws, medication administration, and intubations.

The agreement allowed WDM EMS to maintain/improve current service level while saving the citizens of West Des Moines money. In the agreement, Unity Point pays:

  • All operating costs associated with the ambulances stationed at the hospital
  • A proportionate share of administrative costs