Author: Corike Toxopeus, PhD

Call Prioritization Times for Structure Fires in a Fire Priority Dispatch System

While Structure Fire is not the most common Chief Complaint handled by Emergency Fire Dispatchers (EFDs), the high death toll and other serious consequences that result make structure fires one of the most important types of calls EFDs handle.  The time needed to appropriately and effectively prioritize these calls can be evaluated using a time standard called Call Prioritization Time (CPT). In this study, we evaluate CPT for centers using the Fire Priority Dispatch System (FPDS). Objectives: The primary objective in this study was to determine CPT for the FPDS...

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Characterization of Call Prioritization Time in a Medical Priority Dispatch System

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies have a pressing need to understand call prioritization time (CPT), a key sub-component of call processing time in Emergency Medical Dispatch, as it impacts response time to specific cases and overall EMS agency response time performance. Objective:  The objective of this study was to determine median CPT by dispatch priority level and Chief Complaint type. Methods: This retrospective study included data from six emergency communication agencies, each accredited by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED). The...

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The Distribution of Recommended Care Level Classification by Time of Day within the Emergency Communication Nurse System

Research has shown that two-thirds of emergency visits occur after business hours (weekdays 9am – 5pm). Therefore, identifying primary healthcare providers available after business hours is one strategy for improving appropriate access to healthcare services. Previous studies have also shown a high and steady volume of secondary triage-eligible calls throughout the day and into the evening. However, because the Emergency Communication Nurse (ECN) performing the secondary triage has some discretion on selecting the Recommended Care Level (RCL) based on resource...

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Assessing Call Demand and Utilization of a Secondary Triage Emergency Communication Nurse System for Low Acuity Calls Transferred from an Emergency Dispatch System

Telephone nurse triage at the 9-1-1 dispatch point is relatively new in the United States despite its ability to significantly reduce expensive and scarce Emergency Medical Services (EMS) resource use and emergency department visits. A previous study investigated the distribution of 9-1-1-triaged call incident types within the Emergency Communications Nurse System (ECNS) and found that 9-1-1 triage systems yielded a variety of low acuity complaints that were handled by the Emergency Communications Nurse (ECN). This study explored the current and potential utilization...

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Emergency Medical Dispatchers’ Ability to Determine Obvious or Expected Death Outcomes Using a Medical Priority Dispatch Protocol

Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs), at emergency communication centers that have implemented the Medical Priority Dispatch System® (MPDS) protocols, use scripted questions to interrogate people calling 9-1-1. Based on this interrogation, case determinant codes are assigned– to identify the specific patient condition and enable optimal allocation and deployment of resources to ensure appropriate field responses. MPDS determinant codes for both OBVIOUS and EXPECTED DEATH exist for patients that are clearly and irreversibly dead, or have a terminal illness accompanied...

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