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A novel method of non-clinical dispatch is associated with a higher rate of critical Helicopter Emergency Medical Service intervention

Munro, Scott, Joy, Mark, de Coverly, Richard, Salmon, Mark, Williams, Julia and Lyon, Richard M. (2018) A novel method of non-clinical dispatch is associated with a higher rate of critical Helicopter Emergency Medical Service intervention Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 26 (84). pp. 1-7.

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Abstract

Background

Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) are a scarce resource that can provide advanced emergency medical care to unwell or injured patients. Accurate tasking of HEMS is required to incidents where advanced pre-hospital clinical care is needed. We sought to evaluate any association between non-clinically trained dispatchers, following a bespoke algorithm, compared with HEMS paramedic dispatchers with respect to incidents requiring a critical HEMS intervention.

Methods

Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from two 12-month periods was performed (Period one: 1st April 2014 – 1st April 2015; Period two: 1st April 2016 – 1st April 2017). Period 1 was a Paramedic-led dispatch process. Period 2 was a non-clinical HEMS dispatcher assisted by a bespoke algorithm. Kent, Surrey & Sussex HEMS (KSS HEMS) is tasked to approximately 2500 cases annually and operates 24/7 across south-east England. The primary outcome measure was incidence of a HEMS intervention.

Results

A total of 4703 incidents were included; 2510 in period one and 2184 in period two. Variation in tasking was reduced by introducing non-clinical dispatchers. There was no difference in median time from 999 call to HEMS activation between period one and two (period one; median 7 min (IQR 4–17) vs period two; median 7 min (IQR 4–18). Non-clinical dispatch improved accuracy of HEMS tasking to a mission where a critical care intervention was required (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.04–1.51, p = 0.02).

Conclusion

The introduction of non-clinical, HEMS-specific dispatch, aided by a bespoke algorithm improved accuracy of HEMS tasking. Further research is warranted to explore where this model could be effective in other HEMS services.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Munro, Scotts.munro@surrey.ac.uk
Joy, Markm.joy@surrey.ac.uk
de Coverly, Richard
Salmon, Mark
Williams, Julia
Lyon, Richard M.r.lyon@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 25 September 2018
DOI : 10.1186/s13049-018-0551-9
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Air ambulance; Helicopter emergency medical services; Emergency medical services; Dispatch; Tasking
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 02 Oct 2018 12:29
Last Modified : 02 Oct 2018 12:29
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/849484

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