Response Time Zero

The best possible response time for any emergency is immediate. áThis is no simple theoretical goal, but a physical reality everywhere that a Public Safety Dispatcher,áusing standardáEmergency Medical Dispatcháprotocols,ácan be reached by phone. áThese calm “voices of hope”áquickly perform an initial triage to determine the type of medical or trauma situation being reported, dispatch appropriate emergency services as necessary, and provide quality instruction to the caller before any additional help arrives on scene.National Academies of Emergency Dispatch

The Navigatoráconference in Baltimore this week, sponsored by theáNational Academies of Emergency Dispatch, celebrated the efforts made in the last 33 years since Dr. Jeff Clawson developed aáset of protocols in an attempt to reduce the number of Code 3 medical runs through proper resourcing and to promote dispatching as a profession. áNow there areá65 million emergencyácalls for service each year to just over 3,500 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) worldwide where the best are recognized as Accredited Centers of Excellence (ACE).

But not all calls requesting service are equal. áUsing theáMedical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) protocols, automatedáthrough software likeáProQA,áthe initial triage phase is automated to provide a standardized format for carrying out the practice of priority dispatching. áThe acuity of the call is determined to categorize the dispatch response. áIncreasingly that response may include the possibility of alternative service endpoints in certain systems reforming the traditional “you call, we haul” strategy where each call ends with a transport to the hospital. áFor systemsáauthorized to use it, like many in Europe, PSIAMáprovides a secondary level of triage, commonly performed by nurses, for any lower acuity incidents that should not require an ED visit. áThis is a dramatic departure from the norm in the US and one that will require vertical integration of healthcare providers starting with EMS, the practical gatekeepers to a significant amount of healthcare in the community. Recognizing EMS as healthcare providers is also a shift in thinking from theáprevalentápublic safety mindset and one not taken in current healthcare reform.

The first link in the chain of the emergency response system, however, is the Emergency Medical Dispatcher. áThese are the true First Responders who are immediately present at the scene providing care even though they cannot see or physically be present with the patient.

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Comments
daleloberger
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
It only takes one bad story like this: http://www.emsworld.com/video/12029267/philadelphia-paramedic-in-hot-water-over-anti-police-image to make the public question a whole service (or even incite violence.) If your service doesn't already have a social networking presence, how can you effectively counter such bad media? You need to engage before problems arise in order to have credibility and a voice when…
2014-12-18 13:51:43
Mark
How To Perform CPR: The Crucial Steps You Should Know (and Share!)
The majority of people who survive a cardiac arrest are resuscitated from ventricular fibrillation (VF) by the administration of a defibrillatory shock. This is most likely to be successful when it is given very soon after the onset of VF; emergency service personnel are often unable to arrive soon enough to help a victim. Automated…
2014-12-16 17:32:19
daleloberger
Economic Efficiency
No one is going to challenge the idea of "rationing healthcare" with the idea that "any expense is worthwhile if it saves just one life"? Good to see we are beyond that logic.
2014-12-15 21:58:08
Fore Thoughts of EMS Today 2015 | High Performance EMS
A Country EMS in The Big City
[…] the opportunity to ride along with a BCFD crew and documented that experience in the post “A Country EMS in the Big City” that year. The next year, I got to experience EMS Today in DC along with the much hyped […]
2014-12-11 05:08:13
Jordan Collins
System Status Management (SSM)
We were punished for "late response times" by being exiled from our quarters overnight and placed on street corners. We had high morale; we would play basketball and football, as well as making potluck dinners once a rotation. Morale was at an all-time high, quarters and the trucks were kept cleaned and polished. Fast forward…
2014-12-10 15:50:18

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