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5 min read

Ethics in EMS: 10 Things You Need to Know

By Team Pulsara on Mar 17, 2021


You arrive on the scene of a single-vehicle MVA with two passengers. The driver is a male in his 80s, and you can see that he requires immediate transport. However, he doesn't seem concerned about himself; instead, he keeps asking about his passenger—his wife, who has died. 

What do you tell him?

Ethics is a major consideration in other allied health professions, but the topic rarely receives much attention in EMS. And when it does, most tend to assume that the same ethical considerations that apply to physicians carry over into EMS. That's not always the case. While many of the same principles do apply, their application might look different for medics. Medics often face unique situations where time is short, options are limited, and consent unavailable. And now, in the midst of a pandemic, medics face many situations where tough decisions must be made with limited resources in short order.

A more full discussion of the differences in ethics for EMS may be found here, but there are ten ethical concepts medics need to be familiar with in order to make the best possible decisions while they're in the field. 

Here are the top 10 things you need to know about ethics in EMS.

Topics: Leadership Healthcare
9 min read

Aligning for Success: Exploring the Keys to Leadership and Lasting Change

By Brittany Means, RN, BSN on Feb 10, 2021

Most advice on becoming an effective leader is geared—maybe not surprisingly—toward the things we can change about ourselves. We focus our attention on asking ourselves, “Do I have the right values, the right traits, the right competencies, or even the right style to be a good leader?” 

While those questions are important, we sometimes forget that the environment you create for your team makes just as much, if not more, of an impact. From asking questions to listening to their team members, an effective leader is attuned to their environment and fosters an atmosphere where their coworkers are safe to grow and learn. 

Topics: Leadership Communication Change Management Preparedness
23 min read

The Passion of a Serial Entrepreneur: An Interview by Brett Lyle with Kris Kaull

By Kinsie Clarkson on Oct 19, 2020

The Passion of a Serial Entrepreneur: To-Do Lists, Coaching, and Spilled Coffee

Pulsara CMO Kris Kaull recently had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Brett Lyle, strategist, creator, and founder/coach at Brett Lyle Coaching and the Emergent Leadership YouTube channel. Kris and Brett discuss tangible practices that define and reshape mindsets, talk daily to-do lists, and lifelong goals and accomplishments. Kris also shares the tools he has used to overcome entrepreneurial challenges and explains how he intentionally designed his clinical career to be both personally fulfilling and professionally valuable to the industry. 

Special thanks and shout out to Brett for this awesome interview and opportunity! (To see more of Brett's work, follow her on social, or to contact her, see her links at the end of this post).  

Watch the exclusive interview in the video below, or read on for the full conversation.

Topics: EMS Leadership Wellness Health
3 min read

Three Keys to Silent Leadership

By Asbel Montes on Oct 14, 2020

Special thanks to our guest author, Asbel Montes, for contributing today's blog. Asbel is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Acadian Ambulance Service. You can read more about him in his bio below.

One of the most important aspects in leadership is being able to recognize the power of your words. Just as important, however, is the ability to recognize the power of your silence. 

Topics: EMS Leadership Communication
4 min read

Profile of a Founder: The Tech Tribune's Q&A With Dr. James Woodson

By Kinsie Clarkson on Jun 01, 2020

This week, The Tech Tribune released an exclusive Q&A with Pulsara's Founder and CEO, Dr. James Woodson. Pulsara has been featured in The Tech Tribune's 2018 Best Tech Startups in Montana, 2019 Best Tech Startups in Bozeman, 2019 Best Tech Startups in Montana, 2020 Best Tech Startups in Bozeman, and 2020 Best Tech Startups in Montana. Check out the full interview here. 

Topics: Leadership Press
4 min read

Failures and Wins in EMS and How to Mentor the Next Generation: An Interview with Kris Kaull

By Kinsie Clarkson on May 20, 2020

During the 2019 EMS World Expo last year, Pulsara CMO Kris Kaull sat down with Mike Verkest, EMS Training Officer and Host of "Tales and Stories from EMS World," to talk about success, failure, and his experience working in EMS. In celebration of EMS Week, we're sharing our highlights from that interview. (To watch the full interview, check out the video below).

Topics: EMS Leadership
2 min read

Failure: A Leader's Best Tool for Improvement

By Shane Elmore, RN on Jun 21, 2019

"Try and fail, but do not fail to try" - Stephen Kaggwa.

Have you ever felt like you made a mistake or failed as a leader? Of course you have, because all leaders -- whether in the hospital, EMS organization, or even the home -- have failed. What separates the best leaders from the rest of the pack is how they view their failures. For them, failure is a gift rather than a curse. They view failure as a way to assess a better way forward, an opportunity to learn, or an experience that will shape their next decision.

Topics: Leadership
1 min read

How EMS Leadership in Colorado Springs Inspired Collaboration for Better Patient Care [White Paper]

By Hannah Ostrem on Jan 17, 2019

“In today’s interconnected and complex healthcare environment, an EMS leader must understand when and how to collaborate, both within the organization and with outside partners.”

Last month, EMS1.com published “The State of Collaboration in EMS” white paper, to help inform EMS leaders about the importance of and tips for collaboration within their own organizations and with outside entities.

One region featured in the white paper was Colorado Springs, CO. The region was struggling to connect the more than twelve fire and EMS organizations and five hospitals (who are part of two larger hospital systems), particularly when trying to communicate key information for time sensitive emergencies. The feature in the white paper discusses how EMS leaders in the area were able to unite all care teams, regardless of the entities they worked for, around a common goal of improving quality of care for patients in the community by reducing delays due to miscommunication.

Topics: EMS Leadership Communication Technology
1 min read

Pulsara Featured on List of 10 Best Tech Companies in Montana

By Team Pulsara on Aug 16, 2018

Pulsara is honored to have been featured last month in an article from The Tech Tribune which featured the best small tech companies in Montana. According to the article, the staff researched Montana's tech companies and evaluated them using factors including:

  1. Revenue potential
  2. Leadership team
  3. Brand/product traction
  4. Competitive landscape
Topics: Leadership
3 min read

Accountability Isn't Optional When it Comes to People's Lives.

By Shane Elmore, RN on Sep 27, 2017

If you missed my previous blog post about my recent hospitalization, then I encourage you to go back and give it a read. This post serves as part two of  my up-close-and-personal experience with communication failures in the hospital. Luckily, the situations described in these two posts don’t involve time-sensitive emergencies (TSEs). When communication failures occur in TSEs, the impact can be devastating. Rather, these examples provide evidence that miscommunication is part of the everyday routine in healthcare. This communication crisis is real, and it impacts real people every day.

In case you missed my previous post, let me recap: I was out of town on a business trip and ended up being hospitalized for a day. Luckily, it was just one day; every additional day a patient stays in the hospital, the odds of a full and speedy recovery decrease. But the experience that would follow was so bad, I was half surprised a lady with crazy hair didn't walk up to me on admission and say "may the odds be forever in your favor!" (That's funny if you've seen the Hunger Games. If not, you seriously need to go to the movies now and then ... but hey, no judgment).

Topics: Leadership Healthcare Communication
3 min read

Trading Resolutions for Resilience in 2017

By Team Pulsara on Feb 03, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to Kelly Meredith for writing today's blog post. You can connect with her on LinkedIn. 

Last month, we brought you some tips for making new company and department goals that your team can actually stick to (and can make any time of year). But I wanted to expand on the old concept of new years resolutions from a more individual lens, since I think it’s safe to say that many of us can easily get down on ourselves for not sticking to those lofty ambitions. Let’s face it, it’s an all too familiar tale...

Topics: Leadership
2 min read

Leaders: Don't Confuse Communication with Engagement.

By Shane Elmore, RN on Jan 26, 2017

Here at Pulsara, our entire focus is on communication. When things break down in healthcare, the root cause is almost always a breakdown in communication. This communication breakdown is what drove our clinician founders to invent a solution so that our patients don't have to suffer for our mistakes. We believe that there is a communication crisis in healthcare that's costing hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

But communication alone cannot make teams fully effective -- no matter the advances in technology  -- if those teams are lacking engagement. From being in the field helping struggling teams, we've found that many confuse communication and engagement, and they are not the same. Whereas communication is defined as the imparting or exchanging of information or news, engagement is emotional involvement or commitment to a cause.

Topics: Leadership Healthcare
2 min read

Happy New Goals! Refresh Yourself and Your Workforce in the New Year or Anytime

By Team Pulsara on Jan 17, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to Alison Bruns for writing today's blog post. You can connect with her on LinkedIn. 

Whether you're a doctor, nurse, EMT, IT specialist, hospital administrator, tech company CEO, etc. etc. etc., it's crucial to take some regular time out to reflect on your career performance and focus on your goals for the future. But, New Years resolutions can tend to get lost under the pile of your other to-dos. So how can you help yourself and your team stick to your new goals? For one, you can eliminate the obstacles of ‘falling off the wagon’ by engaging your team in the practice and holding each other accountable for the goals you make. Also key is to consistently document the progress of the goals you make for yourself both personally and professionally. 

Topics: Leadership
2 min read

Who's On First -- The Frightening Reality of Healthcare Communication

By Shane Elmore, RN on Dec 14, 2016

Who's on First is an original comedy skit that was made famous by Abbot and Costello back in the early 1940's. It's a classic illustration of two people talking, but it's as if they are speaking different languages. The longer the skit goes on, the funnier it gets. It's not that their understanding changes — quite the opposite in fact. They continue the conversation, but neither of them ever realizes where the breakdown in communication is happening.

Topics: Stroke STEMI Leadership
2 min read

Tis the Season of Balance: The Joy of Balancing Work & Holiday Fun

By Team Pulsara on Dec 07, 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to Alison Bruns for writing today's blog post. You can connect with her on LinkedIn. 

Well, the holidays are upon us once again. This time of year creates buzz around the office, the company and worldwide. And regardless of your industry, a heightened sense of cheer and joy is often met with year-end deadlines and multiple after-hours commitments, not to mention what your personal life begs of you. While the season can be fraught with anxiety, stress and unhealthy habits, there is a way to navigate your way to a happy and balanced 2017!

Topics: Leadership
3 min read

From Hospital to Tech Company: For Success, Invest in Your People

By Hannah Ostrem on Nov 17, 2016

A young Pulsara team (circa 2014) poses on the lawn outside our first office.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Huge thanks to Shane Elmore, Blogger of the Year, for the topic of this blog post and for submitting the three top ways to invest in people. The rest of the post practically wrote itself!


"What is our company's greatest asset?" 

When Pulsara's Founder and CEO, Dr. James Woodson asked this question at an all-hands meeting recently, my mind jumped to the obvious -- We reduce time-to-treatment by 10-40%! Clearly, our biggest asset is our platform that helps care teams do their jobs more efficiently and improves treatment time outcomes for critical patients!

Topics: Leadership Healthcare
1 min read

Study Finds This Physician Behavior Reduces Death Rate by 28.4% in CABG Patients

By Hannah Ostrem on Nov 15, 2016

Pulsara was founded on the idea that teamwork, collaboration, and care coordination have the power to change lives. As such, we love to see great examples of the power of TEAMWORK in practice, and we believe that the value of TEAMS is greater than the sum of their parts, every time. 
Topics: Leadership Healthcare Communication
3 min read

How to Confront Burnout in Healthcare (and the rest of your life)

By Shane Elmore, RN on Nov 09, 2016

One of the most challenging things about working in a high-stress environment like a hospital is dealing with burnout. If you've been in healthcare for more than a day, you've probably met a nurse, doctor, or ancillary staff member who, for one reason or another, needs an attitude adjustment. If you've been doing it for more than two years, you have probably even been that person at some point. When it comes to burnout, it's usually easier for us to spot it in others long before we can see it in ourselves. Fortunately, there are some strategies you can employ to manage and reverse burnout. 

Topics: Leadership Healthcare
4 min read

The Top Skill to Master for Better Teamwork and Collaboration

By Shane Elmore, RN on Nov 01, 2016

“Argue like you’re right, and listen like you’re wrong.” It sounds simple, but remembering this advice can go a long way in helping you communicate more effectively with others on your team, whether in healthcare, technology, or any other field.

When I was in school, I always dreaded the time when report cards came out. There was only one part of the report card that ever worked in my favor … the conduct grade. Maybe this is just a Texas thing, but when all else failed, I could point to the “gets along well with others” part of the report card to make a case for how well things were going. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to keep me from being grounded and losing my rights to my Nintendo. 

Topics: Leadership
2 min read

WFBH Uses Code Sepsis Initiative to Reduce Mortality Index by More Than Half

By Hannah Ostrem on Oct 27, 2016

Though Pulsara was created to streamline acute care coordination and improve outcomes, it is key to remember that the Pulsara application is not a "magic bullet." Instead, Pulsara is one tool that should be used alongside refined, tested protocols which have as their goals to reduce time to treatment for all critical patients. Combined with such processes, Pulsara can help teams achieve industry-leading case times. 
One  example of a system that has successfully implemented such tactful protocols is Wake Forest Baptist Health (WFBH) in Winston-Salem, NC. A recent article illustrated how the facility seamlessly manages sepsis patients thanks to the hospital's Code Sepsis initiative, launched in 2013.
Topics: Leadership Sepsis