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Education, Information and Resources

Informational Bulletins

Read EMS informational bulletins.

Naloxone Program for First Responders

EMS Reports and Statistics

Education Information

Out-of-Hospital Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

The Out-of-Hospital Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) (20 Pa.C.S. 5481-5488) empowers a person with an terminal medical condition, or an appropriate representative of that person, to secure an out-of-hospital Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order and, at the person’s option or the option of an authorized representative, an out-of-hospital DNR bracelet or necklace.  These items direct EMS personnel in the out-of-hospital setting not to provide the person for whom they were issued with CPR in the event of the person’s cardiac or respiratory arrest. The Act also specifies the circumstances under which an appropriate representative of a person who issued a living will under the Living Will Act (20 Pa.C.S. 5441-5447) is able to secure an out-of-hospital DNR order, bracelet or necklace for the person. 

DOH POLST Forms

POLST is a medical order that gives patients more control over their end-of-life care. The POLST form specifies the types of medical treatment that a patient wishes to receive towards the end of life. These medical orders are signed by both a patient's physician, physician's assistant, or certified registered nurse practitioner and the patient or the patient's surrogate

Completion of a POLST form is only a small step in the process of a patient's decision-making, and it is critical that this form be used as part of a POLST program that includes educational support and other aspects of planning for providers and patients.

This form was developed by the Patient Life Sustaining Wishes Committee and was designed to be consistent with Pennsylvania law. There are significant advantages to using a form that contains standardized language and is produced in a distinctive and easily recognizable format. In order to maintain continuity throughout Pennsylvania, please follow these printing instructions:

*** Print POLST Form on 110# Pulsar Pink Card Stock ***

EMS Incident Reporting

The EMS Voluntary Event Notification Tool (E.V.E.N.T.) system collects anonymous reports of EMS system safety events for the purpose of preventing future events across the system. The reports that are submitted will be used as part of the regional and statewide quality improvement plans to make changes to the system that will reduce or prevent future similar events.

We encourage anonymous reporting from any individual who encounters or recognizes a situation in which a safety event occurred while a patient was being cared for by the EMS (emergency medical services) system. This reporting system is not in place to punish EMS practitioners for safety events. A similar system used by airline pilots has led to important airline system improvements based upon pilot reported "near miss" situations and errors. We hope that the anonymity of this reporting system will allow EMS practitioners to feel comfortable in reporting even their own safety events so that the system as a whole can be improved.

This reporting system defines safety event as any event or action that leads to or has the potential to lead to a worsened patient outcome related to the event or action; these may be related to systems, operations, device or equipment failures, drug administration, or any aspect of patient care. Safety events include "near misses" that are recognized before they actually occur.

This reporting system is only applicable to safety events that are related to care given by components of the EMS system (for example, care provided by ambulance attendants, first responders, EMTs, EMT-paramedics, quick response services, ambulance services, air ambulance services, dispatch centers, and medical command facilities.) This is not the place to submit concerns related to patient care in hospitals or by non-EMS health care providers.

This reporting system is anonymous. Individuals who submit information to this website cannot be identified. Individuals must not submit information that identifies any patient, EMS practitioner, EMS service, date of incident, location of incident, or any other information that may identify any of these entities, Submissions with these identifiers will be deleted from the system, and the report will not serve the purpose of reducing future events.

This reporting system is separate from the existing complaint investigation procedure. Any individual that wants to submit a formal complaint against an EMS provider or practitioner should contact their local EMS regional council to report the complaint through the established process. Please contact the Department of Health EMS Office at 717-787-8740 if you need assistance in contacting the appropriate regional EMS council office.his reporting system is separate from the existing complaint investigation procedure. Any individual that wants to submit a formal complaint against an EMS provider or practitioner should contact their local EMS regional council to report the complaint through the established process. Please contact the Department of Health EMS Office at 717-787-8740 if you need assistance in contacting the appropriate regional EMS council office.

Licensing

The Bureau of EMS licenses all EMS Agencies within the Commonwealth.  To begin the EMS agency licensure process, please contact your respective Regional EMS Council.

Under Act 37 of 2009, QRS agencies transitioned from an agency recognition to an EMS agency license. Please contact your Regional EMS Council for assistance in applying for this transition. 

Poison Control Centers

For poisoning emergencies, call: 1-800-222-1222

Philadelphia Poison Center
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104 

Pittsburgh Poison Center
UPMC
200 Lothrop Street
PFG 01-01-01
Pittsburgh, PA  15213