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
Roger Thayne
Static v. Dynamic: A Continuum of Cost
Totally agree. I would add that response and transport need to be understood. Within busy urban areas an ambulance can be both the response and transport vehicle. In rural areas response can be achieved efficiently by a Community Paramedic in a car within 8 minutes supported by an ambulance within 20 to 30 minutes i.e.…
2014-08-10 10:28:37
daleloberger
About
Jodi, it took a while, but we have begun putting this sort of information together in book form. Our first attempt is "Dynamic Deployment: A Primer for EMS" (http://www.amazon.com/Dynamic-Deployment-A-Primer-EMS/dp/1500428574/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407501551&sr=8-1&keywords=dynamic+deployment). We are already in the process of building its sequel that we hope to be a broader compendium of cases, authors, and opinions regarding the measurement…
2014-08-08 07:44:52
Alex
Could Busier be Better?
Since medical calls are now the focus of fire service. Maybe it's time for a rebranding if you will to new terms like "EMS Based Fire Service". Paramedics are constantly upgrading thier knowledge and skills and get thier butts kicked daily but don't enjoy the same pay or benifits that firefighters do. Something is wrong…
2014-08-05 03:55:31
Lauren
Could Busier be Better?
This article is more about understanding evidence based research then applying it rather then replying on personal experience and tradition. Even if you don't like what research says.
2014-07-19 20:30:03
Paul
Could Busier be Better?
High quality comes from seeing multiples of truley sick patients with strong training and support from an experienced partner, not just from being a busy transport vehicle.
2014-07-19 08:26:57

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