The RAP Toolkit places EMS public health initiatives into three categories — educational, integrated, and expanded — based on how they utilize the existing EMS infrastructure.
Educational Initiatives provide EMTs and paramedics with information or training on specific preventable community health issues recognized in their local population. The information delivered by the Educational PHI promotes a better understanding of both the issue at hand and also the population it affects. This knowledge is carried by EMS providers throughout the community during normal EMS operations.
In contrast to Educational Initiatives, which informally improve patient interactions and care through continuing education, Integrated Initiatives bring formal prevention resources and surveillance into EMS 9-1-1 operations. Prevention resources are delivered to the affected populations during 9-1-1 interactions, and community health issues are surveilled through the real-time data offered by EMS patient care records and dispatch data. Integrated PHIs are often found to have the largest impact relative to the resources required for implementation because these lightweight programs are built right onto the existing 9-1-1 infrastructure in a non-disruptive manner.
Expanded initiatives build new services, programs, or efforts that are delivered in addition to normal EMS operations or outside of the previously discussed educational and operational infrastructure. They may take the form of novel services delivered by specialty paramedics, such as community paramedics, in and around 9-1-1 incidents. They can also take the form of multidisciplinary taskforces, policy change workgroups, and other teams that operate entirely separate from normal 9-1-1 operations.