• Programs Are Requested to Pay Invoices Via ACH
  • CoAEMSP Operations & COVID-19
  • Policy on ACCREDITCON Registration Fees
  • Satellites, Sections, and Alternate Locations
  • Major/High Stakes Analysis Form
  • What Is a High Stakes Exam?
  • Graduate and Employer Surveys: When, Why, and Challenges
  • Billing Contact Change
  • Tools Developed to Support Programs During COVID-19
  • Annual Fee Invoice On The Way
  • CoAEMSP Annual Report Now Due June 30
  • Updated Terminal Competency Form Now Available
  • Join Us in Celebrating the Men and Women of EMS
  • Milestones
  • By the Numbers
  • Quick Links
Programs Are Requested to Pay Invoices Via Automated Clearing House (ACH)
Contact: Heather Parker, heather@coaemsp.org or 214-703-8445, x116

In an effort to save time, streamline processes, reduce data entry, and eliminate additional processing fees, the CoAEMSP is encouraging all programs to pay invoices via Automated Clearing House (ACH).

ACH payments are electronic payments that transfer funds directly from a checking account to the payee. Instead of writing out and mailing a paper check, the money moves automatically.

You may pay invoices by ACH or the View and Pay Invoice option that will appear in the email with the invoice. Credit cards are not accepted. The CoAEMSP will accept checks; however, know that we are moving toward requiring all payments to be made via ACH or View and Pay.

All programs selecting to pay by ACH should email a payment advice to heather@coaemsp.org. (A payment advice provides the details on a payment and provides advance notice to the recipient.)

The advantages of paying via ACH or the View and Pay Invoice are:
•  pay directly through the invoice
•  secure environment
•  payment processes in 3 days instead of 3 weeks (checks)
•  automatically applies to the invoice (less data entry errors)

Below is an example of the ACH Payment Advice, which provides the details on a payment and provides advance notice to the recipient.

Thank you for helping to make the payment process more efficient.
CoAEMSP Operations and COVID-19
The health and safety of patients, educators, students, and volunteers are our top priority, therefore, the CoAEMSP has taken the following actions:

  • cancelled ACCREDITCON
  • postponed all on-site evaluations scheduled through June 30, 2020
  • suspended the coordination of future site visits until further notice
  • extended the deadline for Annual Reports to June 30, 2020
  • extended the deadline for all Self-Study Reports due April 1, May 1, or June 1 until July 1
  • waived late fees for unpaid accounts as of March 15, 2020

The standard practice for nearly fourteen years has been for CoAEMSP staff members to work remotely; therefore, no additional steps were necessary to keep staff members safe. In addition, there was virtually no interruption in the staff's operations.
Policy on ACCREDITCON Registration Fees
If you registered for ACCREDITCON, which was scheduled for May 27-31 in Louisville, you should have received a notice on March 30 from the email address accreditcon@scs-events.com informing you of your options for either a full refund or to apply those fees to ACCREDITCON in 2021. This applies to guests, exhibitors, and sponsors registration.

Please email accreditcon@scs-events.com and indicate whether you would like a refund or to have the registration fees applied to ACCREDITCON in 2021. Please allow up to 30 days for refund processing.

Regarding hotel reservations, the Omni Louisville is canceling all reservations for registered guests in the room block. If you booked from outside the room block, you are responsible for cancelling your own reservation.

We hope to see you back in Louisville in 2021, June 1-6. Stay safe and healthy.
New Requirements Effective January 2021
Satellites, Sections, and Alternate Locations
To meet the needs of students and stakeholders, accredited programs may develop alternative locations to deliver components of the course or, at times, the entire program. The distinctions and delivery modes can be confusing but are important in program operation and assessment. CAAHEP has recently revised the definition of a satellite which clarifies the structure.

“Off-campus location(s) that are advertised or otherwise made known to individuals outside the sponsor. The off-campus location(s) must offer all the professional didactic (which may include any distance education delivery modality) and laboratory content of the program. Satellites(s) are included in the CAAHEP accreditation of the sponsor and function under the direction of the Key Personnel of the program. The CoAEMSP may establish additional requirements that are consistent with CAAHEP Standards and policies”.

A Useful Tool
Major/High Stakes Analysis Form
The concept of high stakes exams was presented in a March 2019 eUpdate and can be found here. A high stakes cognitive exam is any exam where failure may result in a student being dismissed from the program. In the college setting this may be at the end of each course in the semester. In non-traditional settings exams are typically administered at the end of each block of major instruction, such as trauma, special, populations, cardiology, etcetera. Mid-term and final examinations are also considered high stakes.

The CAAHEP Standards require that “Evaluation of students must be conducted on a recurrent basis and with sufficient frequency to provide both the students and program faculty with valid and timely indications of the students’ progress toward and achievement of the competencies and learning domains stated in the curriculum.”

The CoAEMSP Interpretation of that Standard is “Validity must be demonstrated on major exams, but methods may vary depending on the number of students. All exams should be reviewed by item analysis, which may include difficulty index (p+) and discrimination index (point bi-serial correlation).

For programs using a commercial testing product, the program must demonstrate, through the program’s own item analysis, that the test items used are valid and reliable for the program. Simply quoting the national validity and reliability information provided by the vendor does not adequately establish that the test items are valid and reliable for the specific curriculum of the specific program. The results of the review (based on program established criteria) must be documented as well as any changes to exams that resulted from the review. Programs with large enrollments may be able to employ recognized mathematical formulas.”

Meaningful statistical analysis for small cohorts is challenging. Also, in some instances, high stakes exams provided by vendors provide pre-specified items that do not allow manipulation or changes. Programs must have some flexibility in how they assess the quality of the evaluation tools used and the student performance.

In 2019, student evaluation was the third most common citation identified by CAAHEP following program review by the CoAEMSP Board and the response to the Findings Letter. Some of the citations were for failure to provide evidence of a summative, comprehensive final evaluation in all learning domains as the student nears completion of the capstone field internship. The other major source of citation is the lack of evidence that the program evaluates high stakes exams by doing its own analysis and demonstrating changes that result from the review. Evidence at the time of the site visit should be available that the program reviews the performance of each item on high stakes exam, determination of the validity of the item, high and low scores, did the ‘high performers’ do as expected, other metrics that were evaluated, are changes to the item warranted, and documentation of those changes.

The Major/High Stakes Exam Analysis Form available here, is intended to analyze and document each exam. Exams with flexibility to adjust items should be reviewed for potential changes with each delivery as identified in the Standard Interpretation identified above. Exams with pre-established items should also be reviewed with feedback provided to the vendor if appropriate plus a reflection of student performance and review of a learning prescription. The Major/High Stakes Exam Analysis Form provides a mechanism for the program to document a thoughtful and meaningful analysis of the exam and is increasingly requested at the time of a site visit or a requested progress report.
What is a High Stakes Exam?
Paramedic programs administer numerous testing tools throughout the course of study. Some are considered quizzes, others may be self-paced and are comprehensive of certain content, and others are administered by the program to provide an opportunity to assess learning and retention in a low stress situation. Others are considered high stakes: in other words, the student may not continue to progress in the program if a certain ‘passing’ score is not achieved. A high-stakes exam determines if the student passes a course or fails.

In EMS education, instructors typically divide the curricula into sections by topic, for example medical or trauma. These sections are then tested, and the student must be deemed competent in each topic. The program may also elect to use mid-term and final didactic testing. All of these exams are typically considered high stakes. In addition, students must successfully complete a comprehensive, summative cognitive exam at the end of the program.

Programs are required to evaluate validity and reliability on major/high-stakes exams and to document that process and changes made to the items or instruction. For more information refer to:

"The Need for High-Stakes Cognitive Exam" ARTICLE
The Major/High Stakes Exam Analysis FORM
Program Directors & Written Exam Item Analysis WEBINAR
Program Directors & Written Exam Item Analysis Q&A

To learn more about science-based evidence on learning and study strategies, check out Make It Stick by Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel, Belknap Press, 2014 available from the publisher and Amazon.
Graduate and Employer Surveys: When, Why, and Challenges
We know accredited programs are required to complete satisfaction surveys of graduates and employers but what purpose do these questionnaires serve? Is it just one more requirement?

Historically it is difficult to find some graduates, and hence their employers, once they leave the program, so does it really matter and is it worth the effort? The answer to both questions is ‘yes’ and ‘yes’.

Program Directors Will Now Serve as Billing Contacts For Programs
Effective immediately, the Program Director will serve as the Billing Contact for the program. The program is no longer required to submit a personnel contact form for the Billing Contact.
Tools Developed to Support Programs During COVID-19
The CoAEMSP has developed a few tools to assist programs with the interruption created by COVID-19. These tools are optional and are being offered as resources to programs.

Program Policy. A sample policy that a program may use to develop its own policy on handling exceptions due to the COVID-19 interruption.

Student Education Interruption Status Form. The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated changes in the scheduling and operation of the Paramedic educational program. Requirements by state regulatory and health authorities, as well as the hospitals and EMS agencies who provide clinical and field internship experiences have resulted in modifications of content delivery, scheduling, student progression through the Program, and the availability of hospital clinical rotations and capstone field internships. All of these factors impact student achievement of the competencies required for program completion. This form serves to document interruption in the education process. On resumption of normal operation, as permitted by the state regulatory and health authorities, student educational activities will resume. Students will be informed of the revised anticipated completion dates and requirements at that time.

Action Plan for Extended Program Interruption. Action plans are an essential part of risk management, assisting programs in planning for disruptive events, and ensuring that programs are prepared if and when such events should occur. Developing an action plan involves making decisions in advance about the management of a Paramedic educational program, the human and financial resources, coordination and communications procedures, and being aware of a range of technical and logistical responses. For many programs, an emergency preparedness plan may not have addressed an interruption like COVID-19, forcing programs to develop an action plan as the crisis is happening.

This tool includes components for consideration when a Paramedic educational program is developing its action plan due to the interruption of COVID-19.

The intention of this document is to provide the program a starting point for conversation and planning with their faculty.

Preceptor Attestation of Competency COVID-19. Sample policy of a Paramedic educational program incorporating the preceptor’ attestation of competency of the student. One of the requirements that documents successful Program completion is a summative psychomotor evaluation. Student completion of psychomotor competency in an out of hospital scenario is normally administered and evaluated by Program faculty.

Attestation of Terminal Competency COVID-19 Exception Policy. Sample policy of a Paramedic educational program’s action plan on how it will determine a student is entry-level competent even though the student had not achieved the program’s established minimum patient/skill requirements. The action plan may vary by individual student based on their program lab, clinical, and capstone field internship progress to date.

Webinar Recording. COVID-19: A Conversation with CoAEMSP Leadership. CoAEMSP hosted a webinar providing an opportunity for programs and state offices of EMS to participate in conversation with leadership about the latest statement and the recently released FAQs. The webinar was facilitated by Dr. George Hatch, Executive Director of the CoAEMSP, several board members.

Annual Fee Invoice On The Way
On Tuesday, May 5, you will receive an email with an attached invoice for the CoAEMSP 2020-2021 Annual Accreditation Fee; the invoice will come from heather@coaemsp.org.

You may pay the annual fee by ACH or the View and Pay Invoice option in the email. Credit cards are not accepted. The CoAEMSP will accept checks; however, know that we are moving toward requiring all payments to be made via ACH or View and Pay.

The fee is due July 1, 2020.

If you have questions about the invoice or other accounting related items, please contact Heather Parker ( heather@coaemp.org | P: 214-703-8445, x116).
CoAEMSP Annual Report Now Due June 30

The CoAEMSP has extended the deadline for Annual Reports to June 30, 2020 because the health and safety of our volunteers, educators, and students is our top priority.

If you are a program director of a CoAEMSP Letter of Review or CAAHEP accredited Paramedic Program, then you received in January the Excel-based Annual Report form from the email AnnualReports@coaemsp.org. If you did not receive this email, first check your junk and spam folders. If the email is still not there, then email AnnualReports@coaemsp.org and let us know! Annual Reports are due no later than June 30.

The Annual Report is based on the 2018 calendar year and its graduates, and will be due June 30, 2020. This allows the program at minimum one (1) year to gather all relevant data and allows sufficient time to send out and gather results for the Graduate and Employer Surveys for the applicable annual report year.

Paramedic educational programs are required to submit an annual report that encompasses the following three (3) key metrics:
1. Retention
2. Positive Placement
3. Success on the credentialing written (cognitive) exam.

All CAAHEP accredited and CoAEMSP Letter of Review (LoR) programs will be required to complete the Annual Report and publish the outcomes from their annual report on their website. Outcomes will be for the year reported (and no longer based on a 3-year average).

As the CoAEMSP continues to strive to become more outcomes-oriented in its approach to EMS education, the evaluation of identified outcomes measures becomes increasingly important.

When reports are not submitted on time, additional work is incurred by staff – work that can be prevented. Remember, submit on or before June 30!
Updated Terminal Competency Form Now Available
An updated Terminal Competency Form is now available in the CoAEMSP Resource Library.

When a Terminal Competency Form is completed for a candidate, the Program Director and Medical Director are attesting that the candidate listed has successfully completed all of the Terminal Competencies required for graduation from the Paramedic Education program as a minimally competent, entry-level Paramedic. As such, the candidate is eligible for State and National Certification written and practical examination in accordance with published policies and procedures.

Programs are encouraged to use the updated CoAEMSP’s Terminal Competency Form.

Join Us in Celebrating the Men and Women of EMS
The CoAEMSP is a proud sponsor of EMS Strong, and wants you to join us in celebrating and supporting the men and women of EMS.

EMS Strong is produced by the American College of American Physicians (ACEP), in partnership with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT). EMS STRONG is a campaign designed to celebrate, unite, and inspire the men and women of EMS 365 days a year.

EMS STRONG means we take pride in always being ready. Ready to go at any time. Ready to help whoever needs us. Ready to face whatever situation awaits us on the scene. EMS STRONG means preparing for the next emergency, the next call from a member of our community in distress.

EMS STRONG means preparing for a future that may look much different than our present. For our profession, 2020 presents a chance to use the lessons of the past to focus our sights on the future. Because preparing for tomorrow is more than getting ready for the next call.

Learn more about the campaign at emsstrong.org.
Tony Ayub, MS, LP, Program Director of the Paramedic Program sponsored by El Paso Community College, El Paso, TX, earned the Master of Science degree from Western Governors University, which was conferred on February 25, 2020.

Ginny Renkiewicz, PhD, EMT-P, Program Director of the Paramedic Program sponsored by Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, NC, earned the Doctor of Health Sciences degree from Rush University, which was conferred on December 14, 2019.
For a current list of LoR and accredited programs, visit www.caahep.org.
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