AEDR 2013 Vol. 1 Issue 1

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...

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The Holy Grail of Emergency Medical Dispatching

Today we have reached a truly historic moment—literally a “red-letter day” in Emergency Dispatch.  This is the first journal in EMS and public safety history dedicated to the evidence-based foundation of the science of Emergency Dispatch and Response Determination.  The evolution of emergency medical dispatch, followed by the fire and police dispatch disciplines, has to date largely been based on clinical and on-line observational experience as recommended, and validated, by the most...

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Multimedia Communication in Emergency Medical Dispatch Centers: Current Status and Future Research

Emergency medical dispatch centers are important interfaces between the public and emergency medical resources. The public expects dispatchers to provide sound, safe, and immediate instructions for dealing with life-threatening situations and other emergencies.1 Dispatchers are gatekeepers for allocation of resources such as ambulances, medical personnel, and hospital capacity, and therefore need efficient tools when prioritizing scarce resources based on the specific needs of the triaged...

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Research Challenges and Opportunities in Emergency Nurse Telephone Triage

One of the most important elements of the scientific field is the use of clear, commonly-accepted definitions that can be used to measure processes and create meaningful change. These well-defined metrics allow us to confidently progress by building on previous work carried out by others. Previous authors1 have already identified that research in the dispatch  center should focus specifically on the development of performance measures for use in performance management, audit, and research. ...

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The Need for Police Protocol Research

The most pressing question in dispatch research, and in particular police dispatch, is How can we accurately measure event outcomes? Police calltaking and dispatch is perhaps the least measured of all emergency call processing methodologies. Traditionally, police organizations view the communications center as playing a minor role in event outcomes. This could not be further from the truth. There is no shortage of call examples where the lack of information regarding a police event (i.e. not...

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The Need for 911 Research and Its Impact on Operations

Over 25 years ago I started my first 911 center job in a large urban system in California. Our communication center was a secondary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), and as such, all 911 callers reporting a medical or fire emergency were transferred to our center from the 911 calltakers in the primary PSAP agency. With the rather auspicious title of System Status Controller, my primary role was to direct the dispatching and deployment of paramedic ambulances in the system. Most...

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Listen to the Line

Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs) play an important role in modern-day Emergency Medical Services (EMS), especially as compared to the minimal logistics role simple dispatchers filled years ago. Today, EMDs serve as gatekeepers, resource allocators, non-visual clinicians, and scene resource coordinators, and are familiar with nearly every operational and clinical aspect of an emergency call. Because of their wide range of training, experience, and involvement, EMDs can be a tremendous...

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A Novel Approach to Understanding Small Area Variation Within Communities by Using Computer-Assisted Dispatch (CAD) Data

Geographic variation in the incidence of time sensitive conditions (e.g. myocardial infarction (MI)1and stroke2) in the United States has been described by the Centers for Disease Control.3These annual estimates of stroke and MI mortality by both state and county are based on data from national administrative datasets (e.g. Medicare and National Vital Statistics). For example, in Colorado, acute MI deaths by county can vary from 10.7/100,000 people to 148.7/100,000 people, almost a 14-fold...

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