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New center strengthens ties with area EMS personnel

Apr. 2, 2015, 9:33 AM

Eric Clauss, MSN, R.N., EMT-P, is the director of the newly created Vanderbilt EMS Center of Excellence, which centralizes Vanderbilt resources for the region’s emergency medical services personnel. (photo by John Russell)

A newly established center will serve as a central repository of Vanderbilt resources for the region’s emergency medical services (EMS) personnel.

The Vanderbilt EMS Center of Excellence has been created to deliver seamless, high-quality education and outreach to local EMS agencies that provide the pre-hospital care for thousands of patients transported to Vanderbilt each year.

“There are lots of different areas within Vanderbilt that have been involved in EMS outreach for many years, and very successfully, but as VUMC has grown, it’s become harder for outside agencies to navigate a medical center of our size and complexity,” said Stephan Russ, M.D., MPH, associate professor of Emergency Medicine and Vanderbilt University Hospital associate chief of staff for Access.

“We want EMS agencies to feel like they are part of the Vanderbilt family. When they bring a patient here, they are an important part of the total care that’s provided.”

Russ, along with Brian Carlson, MBA, MHSA, director of Access and Patient Experience, will oversee the center, with Eric Clauss, MSN, R.N., EMT-P, serving as director.

The center’s medical directors are Jared McKinney, M.D., assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and assistant EMS medical director, and Michele Walsh, M.D., assistant professor of Clinical Pediatrics and medical director of the pediatric emergency department.

Under Clauss’ direction, the center will serve to support and augment current outreach and education efforts offered by areas within VUMC including LifeFlight, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Stroke, Cardiac and Trauma, in order to insure collaboration between EMS and all service lines within the Vanderbilt enterprise. The center will also serve as a source for EMS patient follow up and education.

A 12-year employee of VUMC, Clauss has held roles in the adult and children’s emergency departments, and most recently served as head of the Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center outreach team.

Clauss has also been involved in pre-hospital care since 1986 and a paramedic since 1990.

“Having walked in their shoes for many years, I can attest that EMS providers make a personal connection with the patients they treat while in transport to the hospital, and we want them to have closure and know how the patient fared,” Clauss said. “This follow-up not only helps with quality improvement, but it gives them an understanding of the impact their care has made on the patient.”

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