Unified Protocol Theory

Jeff Clawson, M.D.

Jeff Clawson, M.D.

Ask Doc

Jeff Clawson, M.D.


I think I know a lot about what the Academy does by the regular output of new protocol versions, update guides, the various training curricula, CDEs, and QA standards. Even some completely new protocols like the PAIs for “Stop the Bleed” tourniquet application that I was “secretly” told about recently are apparently coming out soon.

What I don’t know as clearly is what the overall structure is of the actual organization that has done this for most of my career. Is there some kind of a chart or list of councils or groups that does all this stuff?

By the way, do others appreciate this like we do?

Kind of an Academy fan … Adele (full name and agency withheld)

Dear Adele,

Thanks for this question. While I could probably overexplain the detail of the Academies’ structure that would go on and on, and bore you by administrivia, let me simply provide an updated Org Chart (see Figure 1) and make a few statements regarding the IAED’s greatly expanded scientific process and the extent of the Academies’ range and impact.

Current facts: There are currently a total of 3,719 different discipline users: MPDS® (2,711), FPDS® (615), PPDS® (373), and ECNS (20). These are distributed through 53 countries and are translated into 25 languages and major dialects. The MPDS is used in over 80% of the United States’ 200 largest cities. This creates a very large user group with a call database of millions of calls that are now provided to the Academy’s Academics, Research, and Communications Division—which now has a total of 16 research experts: Ph.D.s, bioinformaticists, dispatch scientists, research technical writers, and research study managers, that have, as of now, published 108 scientific articles and studies with 30 in the chute (see Chart 1).

There is a specific feature of the Academies’ evolution process that actually supercharges the output process of all these protocols and standards—and that is the Academies’ Unified Protocol Theory and Process. Initially this idea, as you might imagine, was not so popular but was bolstered by the founding group’s strong and ongoing belief that there must be a single protocol that can be improved and evolved by an expanding scientific process that is then shared to all—rather than having a myriad of individual “protocols” (if that is actually what they are) that are controlled by local comm. center managers and, maybe or maybe not, a lone medical director. As I am not a process or evolution shrinking violet, I call this goofy process “an Academy of One.” Conversely, the Academies’ Unified Protocol process then means that each comm. center and medical director don’t have to essentially trip over the same problem or, worse, dead body before they think about “fixing” their homegrown protocol and program—and everything related to it that that then entails—all on their own.

Academy protocol research is now done on thousands and even millions of calls gleaned from 200 Accredited Centers of Excellence with extremely high protocol and process compliance—essentially accurate and believable output and resulting data.

Nobody, no single center, medical director, fire chief, or police chief can remotely replicate this continuous process and perpetual quality improvement machine—not when their “process” is based on “what if’s” and anecdotal singular experiences, that while maybe significant, surely aren’t shared with neighboring PSAPS, regions, provinces, states, and countries worldwide. The Academy does this—really! If it didn’t, I’d chose to be back in the ER caring for folks that my public safety friends will keep on bringing in like clockwork—but mainly only one at time. The Academies’ Unified Protocol Theory works for me and 3,719 centers—as I hope it does for you and yours.

Best regards, always … Doc