Author: Andrew Heward, BSc

Consistency of Emergency Medical Dispatchers’ Decisions Using a Protocol-Based Triage System

Central to the effectiveness of prehospital care is the ability of emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs), to rapidly categorise ‘999’ calls and subsequently facilitate the dispatching of appropriate emergency ambulance personnel. There are many factors which affect productivity and/or performance in a work setting. These include shift work and experience. The London Ambulance Service (LAS) uses a structured, symptom- and incident-based protocol to triage emergency ‘999’ calls. To our knowledge, factors potentially affecting compliance with this system have not been...

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Dispatch Research: Someone, Somewhere Needs to Know

In the late 1970s, a new and innovative idea emerged from the developing science of prehospital emergency medicine Emergency Medical Dispatch raised its head as a positive and well-intentioned, albeit unproven, idea1. Focusing on sending the right response to the right person at the right time and in the right way,2 Emergency Medical Dispatch has over the last 30+ years grown and developed into what many of us know and use today. Over the last 15 years, it has become increasingly evident that properly trained emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs) are a crucial link in the EMS...

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