Introduction: Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) completed a study which evidenced through quantitative data that Continuing Dispatch Education (CDE) improves service performance. In 2014 a CDE research poster was presented at a conference organized by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch™ (IAED). To further understand what motivated this improvement, Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs) were asked to reflect on CDE undertaken and highlight which support they found most helpful. The responses were analyzed to assess what methods of CDE would be most effective in generating service improvement in the future. However, the specific types of CDE that motivated the EMDs to improve in protocol compliance still needs to be studied. The outcome would allow future CDE within YAS and other ambulance services to be specifically designed to improve performance.
Objectives: To identify if the EMDs felt their non-compliance was skill/knowledge/behavioral and if they understood why they needed to comply with the subject matter, and to find out which type of CDE were most helpful. Other objectives were to establish the ratio of voluntary to mandatory CDE undertaken, evaluate what influenced them to improve performance, and to identify and collate any comments and opinions regarding their performance.
Methods: A web based survey was conducted between November 2012 and November 2013 to understand how CDE encouraged staff to improve performance. EMDs were asked to reflect on CDE undertaken, to highlight which support they found most helpful, and what motivated their change in performance.
Results: A significant majority of EMDs found CDE helpful. Voluntary CDE was more likely to be completed if it was an area EMDs have difficulty with. Mandatory CDE was more likely to be completed than voluntary. Almost everyone understood the risk of not verifying and strive for protocol compliance.
Conclusion: Having a structured non-compliance action plan process in place motivates staff to improve, creates expectation of what is required, provides support, and identifies the consequence of what will happen if expectations are not met.