EMS to Operations Management- A Medic's Journey | Operative IQ

We are fortunate to have Josh Hopson on our team as the Director of Client Services. Josh’s EMS experience helps give our team perspective on the true needs of our clients, and he is an incredible asset to the agencies he guides through the implementation process with Operative IQ.  We wanted to give you an opportunity to get to know Josh and his journey into operations management!

When did you start your EMS Career?

I started working in the medical field around 2006 and began my EMT-Intermediate training in 2007.

What led you to Operative IQ?

I worked for a private ambulance service that was the catalyst for the initial creation of Operative IQ. In 2014, I was approached by Operative IQ to interview for a contract position to help a Middle Eastern EMS service in Abu Dhabi set up their Operative IQ service. I ended up working in the United Arab Emirates for three months and upon my return was offered a full-time position with Operative IQ.

How has your EMS background assisted you in your role at Operative IQ?

I had the privilege of working in the field as an EMT, Paramedic and a supervisor. I believe the real-life practical experience I gained in my years in EMS allows me to approach an organization’s implementation with more empathy and a better understanding for some of the obstacles and complications that are a part of this industry. It also doesn’t hurt to have a solid knowledge of the common terminology and industry practices.

One of the best parts about having worked in EMS for many years is having a general knowledge of medicine and chaos control that you can use no matter what you do for a living. Having had the chance to encounter people who on occasion are in the most stressful situations of their lives has taught me the skills I need to be able to work with anyone, at any time, in any situation. It also helps put things in perspective. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in Emergency Medicine can attest to the true frailty of life and the appreciation for life that knowledge can bring.

What kind of advice can you give to individuals in EMS now that you have a business perspective on day-to-day operations management with Operative IQ?

Sometimes it can be hard to see the big picture amidst the other tasks first response professionals face. As a clinician, the mundane and routine tasks of submitting supply request, mechanical vehicle inspections and asset verification seem trivial or unnecessary.

The reality is that as EMS services grow overtime, the process that works while the organization is small probably won’t work as well after it becomes larger. Organizational culture plays a big role in its overall success, and a company’s traditions usually craft its culture. Doing things the way you did them ten years ago usually isn’t going to work. The simple truth is when someone relies on your service for lifesaving help, it must be your mission to make sure all the pieces are in place to give patients with a life-threatening illness or injury the best chance for survival. They don’t get to choose the person that shows up to save their life. A major component in survivability is preparedness. Having what you need, everything in its place, and making sure all your assets are accounted for and in working order are tasks that I feel are often underplayed.

Operative IQ helps make those tasks easier. It doesn’t make them disappear, but that’s not the point. These are things that should be a priority in every organization. You have to be willing to adapt and change as an organization. Implementing sound processes and utilizing Operative IQ allows organizations to save lives and save money which means, better equipment, better patient outcomes and hopefully higher pay!