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The accuracy of medical dispatch: a systematic review
Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Emergency Medicine, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Department of Emergency Medicine, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3290-4111
2018 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, ISSN 1757-7241, E-ISSN 1757-7241, Vol. 26, no 1, article id 94Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: It is a challenge to dispatch Emergency medical Services (EMS) appropriately with limited resources and maintaining patient safety; this requires accurate dispatching systems. The objective of the current systematic review was to examine the evidence, according to GRADE, for medical dispatching systems to accurately dispatch EMS according to level of acuity and in recognition of specific conditions.

A systematic search was performed trough PubMed, Web of Science, Embase (free text in all fields), Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD), and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials up to 16th of May, 2017. A combination of keywords and Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms relevant to "emergency medical dispatch criteria" were used, to search for articles published between 2012 and 2017. Publications were included according to the inclusion/exclusion criteria using the Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol. Level of evidence was evaluated in accordance with Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE). Articles included were those that provided evidence for at least one of the measures of dispatch system accuracy; i.e. sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive and/or over- and under-triage. The search identified 1445 articles. After the removal of duplicates, 382 titles were reviewed for relevance and an additional 359 articles were excluded based on manuscript title and abstract. An additional five articles were excluded after review of the full text versions of the remaining articles. The current review included 18 publications which all were based on primary research.

CONCLUSIONS: The 18 articles addressed the identification of cardiac arrest, stroke, medical priority and major trauma using different dispatching systems. The results of the current review show that there is a very low to low overall level of evidence for the accuracy of medical dispatching systems. We suggest that it is necessary to create a consensus on common standards for reporting before consensus can be reached for the level of accuracy in medical dispatching systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2018. Vol. 26, no 1, article id 94
Keywords [en]
Emergency medical dispatch, Emergency medical services, Medical order entry systems
National Category
Social and Clinical Pharmacy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-64459DOI: 10.1186/s13049-018-0528-8ISI: 000449780200002PubMedID: 30413213Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85056269233OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-64459DiVA, id: diva2:1176851
Available from: 2018-01-23 Created: 2018-01-23 Last updated: 2018-11-23Bibliographically approved

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