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
Elizabeth Nicholas
Did You Watch ‘Nightwatch’ Last Night?
Some of the EMTs on the show also have a nursing degree. Dan Flynn also works as an ER nurse, I believe.
2015-05-08 21:15:05
Bill
In Support of Backboards
Good article. I'm stunned with the comments about "if a study exists showing backboards help" comment. You'll never get an IRB board to approve such a study, but that's where the methods of immobilizing the joint above and below the fracture come in. The comment about disregarding this post because the author is not like…
2015-04-20 16:15:16
ALBERT MIGNONE
In Support of Backboards
IF YOU HAVE EVER HAD THE MISFORTUNE OF HAVING A REAL MCI, BACKBOARDS ARE STILL AN ASSET. REMEMBER YOU MIGHT HAVE 15 AGENCIES WITH DIFFERENT LEVELS OF TRAINING, DIFFERENT FUNDING WHERE THEY MIGHT HAVE NEWER EQUIPMENT BUT NOT ENOUGH TO WORK AN INCIDENT. FIREFIGHTERS WILL BE ASSISTING, MOSTLY WITHOUT EXTRA TRAINING. A DOUBLE BUS CRASH…
2015-04-20 08:53:03
Gloria Bowman
In Support of Backboards
At a swimming pool, the use of a backboard is the most efficient and safest way for the lifeguards to remove an unconscious/submerged (non-spinal) victim from deep water. After the person has been rescued and brought to the side of the pool, the assisting lifeguard holds the victim in place while the primary lifeguard puts…
2015-04-17 22:03:38
Dennis Dudley
In Support of Backboards
Don't throw away the back board yet! You can have all the discussions regarding it's validity but I am in favor of keeping it on board the rig. Scoop stretchers and Reeves are good and I have used them in place of the board, but I find the sturdy back board as a good way…
2015-04-17 14:03:34

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