Author: Jeff J. Clawson, MD

Enhancing Emergency Medical Dispatch to Drive Specific and Significant Improvements in Patient Care

OVERVIEW Measurement is a critical part of testing and implementing changes as well as identifying areas for further research, in prehospital care and dispatch.1 Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania, implemented the Medical Priority Dispatch System™ (MPDS®) to improve the efficiency, timely availability, consistency, and reliability of dispatch data and information. This in turn facilitated a research study into the care of cardiac arrest patients. Measurement is a critical part of testing and implementing changes, as well as identifying areas for further research, in...

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Current Methods and Factors Influencing Successful Training of Emergency Dispatchers in Emergency Communication Centers

Based on known unpublished sources (e.g. emergency communication center managers, training officers, dispatchers), emergency communication centers (ECCs) around the world provide training for new emergency dispatchers and continuing dispatcher education. However, little information has been collected, or shared, between ECCs regarding specific training methods that are being used, which methods are successful, and what factors influence their success. : The objective of this study was to describe what training methods are currently being used in emergency...

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Research Literacy Among Emergency Dispatchers at an Emergency Communication Center: Developing Capacity for Evidence-Based Practice at Dispatch (A Pilot Report)

Expanding the role of evidence-based practice (EBP) in emergency medical services is a matter of increasing importance to researchers and practitioners alike. However, this movement toward EBP has not yet been applied to one critical area of prehospital care: emergency dispatching.  The primary reason for this gap is that emergency dispatchers (EDs) struggle to develop a research culture able to produce enough well-conducted studies to move toward true EBP. One starting point with documented potential for building the research capacity in a field is to develop...

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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. :  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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