Response Time Zero

The best possible response time for any emergency is immediate. This is no simple theoretical goal, but a physical reality everywhere that a Public Safety Dispatcher, using standard Emergency Medical Dispatch protocols, can be reached by phone. These calm “voices of hope” quickly 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 Navigator conference in Baltimore this week, sponsored by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch, celebrated the efforts made in the last 33 years since Dr. Jeff Clawson developed a set of protocols in an attempt to reduce the number of Code 3 medical runs through proper resourcing and to promote dispatching as a profession. Now there are 65 million emergency calls 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. Using the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) protocols, automated through software like ProQA, the initial triage phase is automated to provide a standardized format for carrying out the practice of priority dispatching. The acuity of the call is determined to categorize the dispatch response. Increasingly 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. For systems authorized to use it, like many in Europe, PSIAM provides a secondary level of triage, commonly performed by nurses, for any lower acuity incidents that should not require an ED visit. This 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 the prevalent public 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. These 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
David Roy
Is our success a sign of our failure?
Interesting article about Ems around various places and also about the control and maintenance of it....
2015-08-04 06:28:21
Luke
What Higher EMS Pay Requires
How about the company you work for makes 800 on one call and you make 600$ after two weeks of work.... And running 50 calls... Let's just be a little more fucking fair here....
2015-08-01 06:06:03
Jake
Static v. Dynamic: A Continuum of Cost
I whole-heartedly agree with Joey, what is our purpose? Why are we here? We are here to provide the best possible care to our patients. Part of best possible care is an expedient time-frame. I've been a dispatcher for 5 years, and I hate seeing my Medics get burned-out, but I hate even more so…
2015-07-20 07:13:24
Marcelo Bahl
Did You Watch ‘Nightwatch’ Last Night?
Hello, work in the EMS system in Brazil and whenever I can, I watch the episodes that leave recording to watch later, you show the reality of day-to-day of your city, which is very good and has no censorship as the shocking images that we see every day, because here everything is censored. One more…
2015-07-15 12:52:18
Jeffrey Hammerstein
Stop Dissing Response Times and Start Dissecting the Argument
I think that the position someone takes on this issue depends entirely on the circumstances of the particular EMS system they have in mind when they consider the question. If we're comparing a 7 minute response time to a 70 minute response time (or infinite as mentioned above), then of course it matters. That's a…
2015-07-03 11:44:45

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