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
Brett Snow
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I have been in the fire/ems service for 26 years and was the youngest certified paramedic in the State of Nevada at the time I began. I learned from the best and never became an "SOP" paramedic. I treated my patients with knowledge gained from personal experience and lessons learned from myself as well as…
2015-03-19 16:18:54
EJS
Did You Watch ‘Nightwatch’ Last Night?
What they said is pretty much true. Medics do the majority of things the er will do. I do ems and lots of time in an er. The er for about 90% of pts er will do the same stuff ems will do except just having a doctor tell the pt they are healthy. Yes…
2015-03-12 22:00:54
Thomas Roberts
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We've done some pretty substantial research on offerings from both Stryker and Ferno. What we've found is information that is both in line and conflicting with some of the prior comments on this page. The Stryker power cot is a heavier device in comparison to their old manual cots, however you can't compare the Stryker…
2015-03-04 09:13:07
WES
Impressions of the Ferno iN/X
Anybody know the price of the new ferno system?
2015-02-12 20:36:38
Paul
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I think that the majority of you that talk about a unit sitting on a dirty street corner for 12 hrs at a time don't realize that if they are doing that, the system doesn't need SSM.
2015-02-05 09:33:18

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