OBJECTIVES: The manner in which calls are handled at the emergency telecommunication center has a significant role in effective management of assistance on the scene. The main information needed to start a response is the location of the incident, which usually means the complete address. The Genova 118 Center has recently modified its standard greeting from "Genova 118" (STD1) to "Genova 118, where do I send the ambulance?" (STD2). The aim of this study is to verify whether the new standard reduces the time needed to acquire a complete address during an emergency call.
METHODS: The prospective, randomized study assessed consecutive calls assigned to STD1 and STD2 study groups. Various time estimates were analyzed and the significance of the inter-group differences in the estimated values were assessed.
RESULTS: Of the 500 calls assessed, 170 (34.0%) received the STD1 opening greeting. Except for total time needed to acquire both the complete address and the Chief Complaint, there were statistically significant differences in time estimates for all outcome measures. Overall, there was a statistically significant association between the type of information provided first by the callers and the type of standard call opening greetings.
CONCLUSIONS: The study findings showed that the new closed-greeting standard directed callers to prioritize the right information when they called 118 Centers.