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Voluntary Guidelines for Out-of-Hospital Practices

Reaffirmed by the ACEP Board of Directors October 2014, October 2007
Originally approved by the ACEP Board of Directors June 2001

As an adjunct to this policy statement, ACEP’s EMS Committee prepared a Policy Resource Education Paper (PREP) titled, "Voluntary Guidelines for Out-of-Hospital Practices"

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) and the National Association of State EMS Directors (NASEMSD) believe that out-of-hospital emergency medical services (EMS) systems should provide the highest quality of service and patient care based on current scientific research and available resources. Various organizations, including professional societies and governmental agencies, routinely develop and disseminate voluntary guidelines that impact patient care practices. If utilized, voluntary guidelines should be used to supplement and enhance the overall local system structure and function. They should be implemented only in a systematic process encompassing all facets of an EMS system under supervision of the EMS physician medical director. Voluntary guidelines should not be considered as the required standard of care for EMS systems.

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