Overcoming the Barriers to EMS Research
There are two primary barriers that have inhibited the development of a strong research program in EMS. They are a paucity of well-trained researchers with an interest in EMS research and a lack of reliable funding sources to support research. There are also three identifiable secondary barriers to EMS research. They are: a lack of recognizing the need for evidence-based practice; standardizing, accessing and sharing data; and complying with the current established ethical requirements for human research.
To some extent, there is a chicken and egg phenomenon at work within the two primary barriers to developing a comprehensive EMS research program. For example, funding agencies understandably prefer to place their funds with researchers who have a track record of proven productivity. However, since there are not many proven researchers with interests in EMS problems, few funds flow into EMS-related research. On the other hand, academic institutions are reluctant to support the professional development of new, EMS-focused researchers because they cannot identify likely funding sources with a history of supporting EMS research.