The Center for Systems Improvement is growing! We now have a separate website for EMS quality management related educational services – It is an educational resource for EMS quality managers, medical directors, those coordinating systems of care for time sensitive conditions, and others interested in quality management for emergency healthcare.

The emphasis of the EMS Quality Academy is on the initial training, continuing education and on-going professional development of EMS quality managers and others who have emergency care quality management responsibilities included in their job descriptions.

The Academy will also be helpful for those interested in the design, implementation, and refinement of quality management programs for EMS provider organizations, emergency-related clinical service lines in hospitals, and systems of care for time sensitive conditions.

Check it out at

Free Instructional Videos

  • Quality Tools – Run Charts (FREE) – This collection of instructional videos explains how to properly interpret run charts. (Note: These videos were originally produced as part of the ‘Through the Lens of Systems’ web show.)
    • Part 1 – Introduction to Run Charts – Knowing if performance is getting, worse, or staying about the same – it can have a big impact on management decisions. The tool that helps us understand how things are going is also one of the most important data visualization tools in the quality management toolbox – the run chart. This set of videos will explain the basic elements of a run chart and how often to add new data points. This first video in series will look at how to understand the variation you see in a run chart, and then, how to interpret the run chart to make management decisions. Duration = 8 min 9 sec
    • Part 2 – Variation and Trends – We discuss how variation is present in all processes and the two types of variation we are looking for in run chart interpretation – common cause and special cause variation. The use of run chart rules to differentiate between the two types of variation is introduced with an explanation of the run chart rule for trends. Subsequent lessons will cover the other run chart rules. Duration = 11 min. 27 sec.
    • Part 3 – Shifts – This lesson addresses the run chart rule for shifts. As an example to show how to apply the run chart rule for shifts, we look at the data from an improvement project team that’s watching their time interval data as they implement a change in their process for getting a 12 lead ECG on patients walking into the ED with chest pain. Duration = 12 min. 00 sec.
    • Part 4 – Runs – This lesson addresses the run chart rule for runs. We learn what a run is; how to count data points to determine if an actual run exists; and how to a special table of values to determine if there is evidence of special cause variation based on the frequency of runs. Duration = 5 min. 19 sec.
    • Part 5 – Outliers – This final lesson in the series addresses the run chart rule for outliers. We learn about the outlier rule and then summarize this five part series on run charts. Duration = 5 min. 0 sec.

Document Archive

The EMS Quality Academy document archives provide a variety of documents of interest to those in quality, systems of care, research, and general management.

EMS Management Journal

The EMS Management Journal was published in 2004 by HealthAnalytics in collaboration with the National EMS Management Association, the National Association of State EMS Directors and the National Association of EMS Educators. More information, articles, and complete issues are accessible here.

Tampa Bay EMS Journal / Journal of Prehospital Medicine

The Tampa Bay EMS Journal was the first peer-reviewed journal for EMS. It began publication in 1987. After just 4 issues, it became a national publication – the Journal of Prehospital Medicine. More information, articles, and complete issues are accessible here.