Charles Burnell, M.D.Acadian Ambulance Medical Director Dr. Charles Burnell has been named as a board member of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum. Serving as a physician representative for pre-hospital patient care, Dr. Burnell joins a diverse board comprising hospital executives, attorneys, insurance executives and doctors.

Dr. Burnell joined Acadian Ambulance in 2010 after serving as the emergency department director at Our Lady of Lourdes where he worked for 13 years. As medical director at Acadian, he oversees the medical staff and all operational protocols, ensures up-to-date course curricula and training for the National EMS Academy, works to implement HSE initiatives company-wide and delivers medical direction in matters related to Risk Management.

One of the Quality Forum’s missions is to improve population health care through building up the Louisiana Health Information Exchange, a secure network that links patient care data, enabling authorized health care providers and organizations to access and share health-related information from authorized locations. LaHIE was implemented as part of a multipronged plan to improve outcomes, lower costs and achieve higher patient satisfaction.

“I joined the Quality Forum board in order to improve patient outcomes starting from the field by making paramedic data sharing seamless. To be able to push data forward to the hospitals and backward to the EMS providers, we will be able to obtain outcome data and properly implement relevant quality measures. This will improve the level of health care, increase transparency in hospitals and provide the best patient care possible,” said Dr. Burnell. “The challenge is to have everyone sharing this data in the same format as seamlessly as possible. From a quality standpoint, LaHIE is a way to leverage technology to improve patient outcomes. It will be beneficial to large systems and especially smaller, rural systems with limited patient care databases available to many of those providers.”

Development and broad implementation of LaHIE may take one to two years. Over 85 Louisiana hospitals, affiliated clinics and other health care providers are already exchanging data through LaHIE.

Through the efforts of more than 40 health care and consumer groups, Louisiana State Legislature formally recognized the Quality Forum in 2007. As a neutral, private, not-for-profit organization led by a Board of Directors, the Quality Forum was tasked with planning, promoting and conducting quality improvement initiatives in Louisiana. Other focuses of the Quality Forum are Louisiana Medical Home, Louisiana Health Information Technology and LaPOST.

Since 1971, Acadian has provided the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation possible. In the past decade, the company has expanded to include a diverse suite of services in health, safety, and transportation. Acadian’s six divisions are Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Total Security, Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, National EMS Academy and Safety Management Systems.


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