• Accuracy of nature of call screening tool in identifying patients requiring treatment for out of hospital cardiac arrest

      Green, Jonathan; Ewings, Sean; Wortham, Richard; Walsh, Bronagh (2019-04)
      Background: A new pre-triage screening tool, Nature of Call (NoC), has been introduced into the telephone triage system of UK ambulance services which employ National Health Service Pathways (NHSP). Its function is to provide rapid recognition of patients who may need immediate ambulance dispatch for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and withholding dispatch for other calls while further triage is undertaken. In this study, we evaluated the accuracy of NoC and NHSP in identifying patients with potentially treatable or imminent OHCA. Methods: This retrospective, observational study reviewed consecutive calls to a UK ambulance service between October 2016 and February 2017 in which NOC, and then NHSP were applied sequentially. Only those calls for which a corresponding electronic Patient Clinical Record was available were included. Sensitivity and specificity of NOC and NHSP for recognition of an OHCA were determined by comparing allocated priority dispositions with an OHCA Treatment Registry (OHCATR). Results: Of 96 423 calls received, 71 373 were reviewed. For 590 (0.8%) of these calls, the patients received treatment for OHCA. NOC identified 458 OHCATR patients; NHSP identified 467; together they identified 496. NoC captured 29 patients not identified by NHSP; NHSP captured 38 patients not identified by NOC. For NOC sensitivity was 77.6% (95% CI 74.1 to 80.8) and specificity 86.9% (95% CI 86.6 to 87.1). NHSP sensitivity was 79.2% (95% CI 75.7 to 82.2) and specificity 93.4% (95% CI 93.2 to 93.6). NoC and NHSP combined had a sensitivity of 84.1% (95% CI 80.9 to 86.8) and specificity of 85.3% (95% CI 85.1 to 85.6). Conclusions: NoC and NHSP call categorisation each achieved similar sensitivity for the identification of OHCATR, identifying most of the same patients, but each captured unique patients. Using both methods sequentially improved accuracy. The 16% of OHCATR patients not identified by either method present a challenge to ambulance dispatch systems. https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/4/203. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2017-207354
    • Can emergency care practitioners differentiate between an avoided emergency department attendance and an avoided admission?

      Coates, David; Rawstorne, Steven; Benger, Jonathan (2012-10)
      After a 999 call to the ambulance service, there is no ‘gold standard’ for determining whether the actions of an emergency care practitioner (ECP) result in a patient avoiding attendance at an emergency department (ED) or avoiding an admission to hospital. Within the Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust this outcome has previously been measured using an audit form completed by the ECP. However, the accuracy of the ECP's opinion has not been assessed. https://emj.bmj.com/content/29/10/838.long This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2011-200484
    • Can emergency care practitioners differentiate between an avoided emergency department attendance and an avoided admission?

      Coates, David; Rawstorne, Steven; Benger, Jonathan (2012-10)
      Background: After a 999 call to the ambulance service, there is no 'gold standard' for determining whether the actions of an emergency care practitioner (ECP) result in a patient avoiding attendance at an emergency department (ED) or avoiding an admission to hospital. Within the Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust this outcome has previously been measured using an audit form completed by the ECP. However, the accuracy of the ECP's opinion has not been assessed. Aim: To evaluate the accuracy of the ECP's opinion when deciding whether their actions resulted in a patient avoiding attendance at an ED or avoiding hospital admission. Methods: Over a 10-week-period in 2009, quantitative data were collected using a case review approach. Anonymised patient consultation records were independently reviewed by an ED consultant and a general practitioner. The decision as to whether the actions of the ECP resulted in the patient avoiding ED attendance or hospital admission was compared between the three healthcare professionals using descriptive statistics and κ values to assess inter-rater agreement. Results: Overall inter-rater agreement between the three healthcare professionals was κ=0.385 (fair agreement). The complete agreement rate on a case by case basis for all three healthcare professionals was 80.2% (138/172). Conclusion: This study provides some evidence that ECPs can accurately report on whether their actions, at the time of that care episode, result in a patient avoiding attendance at an ED or avoiding a hospital admission. https://emj.bmj.com/content/29/10/838.long. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2011-200484
    • Development and pilot of clinical performance indicators for English ambulance services

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Shaw, Deborah; Donohoe, Rachel; Black, Sarah; Stephenson, John; National Ambulance Clinical Audit Steering Group (2010-04-12)
      Introduction There is a compelling need to develop clinical performance indicators for ambulance services in order to move from indicators based primarily on response times and in light of the changing clinical demands on services. We report on progress on the national pilot of clinical performance indicators for English ambulance services. Method Clinical performance indicators were developed in five clinical areas: acute myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, stroke (including transient ischaemic attack), asthma and hypoglycaemia. These were determined on the basis of common acute conditions presenting to ambulance services and in line with a previously published framework. Indicators were piloted by ambulance services in England and results were presented in tables and graphically using funnel (statistical process control) plots. Results Progress for developing, agreeing and piloting of indicators has been rapid, from initial agreement in May 2007 to completion of the pilot phase by the end of March 2008. The results of benchmarking of indicators are shown. The pilot has informed services in deciding the focus of their improvement programme in 2008–2009 and indicators have been adopted for national performance assessment of standards of prehospital care. Conclusion The pilot will provide the basis for further development of clinical indicators, benchmarking of performance and implementation of specific evidence-based interventions to improve care in areas identified for improvement. A national performance improvement registry will enable evaluation and sharing of effective improvement methods as well as increasing stakeholder and public access to information on the quality of care provided by ambulance services. https://emj.bmj.com/content/27/4/327. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emj.2009.072397
    • Electronic records in ambulances – an observational study (ERA)

      Porter, Alison; Black, Sarah; Dale, Jeremy; Harris-Mayes, Robert; Lawrenson, Robin; Lyons, Ronan; Mason, Suzanne; Morrison, Zoe; Potts, Henry; Siriwardena, Aloysius; et al. (2019-09-24)
      Background The introduction of information technology (IT) in emergency ambulance services to electronically capture, interpret and store patient data can support out of hospital care. Although electronic health records (EHR) in ambulances and other digital technology are encouraged by national policy across the UK, there is considerable variation across services in terms of implementation. We aimed to understand how electronic records can be most effectively implemented in a pre-hospital context, in order to support a safe and effective shift from acute to community-based care. Methods We conducted a mixed-methods study with four work packages (WPs): a rapid literature review, a telephone survey of all 13 freestanding UK ambulance services, detailed case studies in four selected sites, and a knowledge sharing workshop. Results We found considerable variation in hardware and software. Services were in a state of constant change, with services transitioning from one system to another, reverting to paper, or upgrading. Ambulance clinicians were dealing with partial or unclear information, which may not fit comfortably with the EHR. Clinicians continued to use indirect data input approaches such as first writing on a glove. The primary function of EHR in all services seemed to be as a store for patient data. There was, as yet, limited evidence of their full potential being realised to transfer information, support decision making or change patient care. Conclusions Realising the full benefits of EHR requires engagement with other parts of the local health economy, dealing with the challenges of interoperability. Clinicians and data managers are likely to want very different things from a data set, and need to be presented with only the information that they need., https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/10/e14 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2019-999abs.32
    • An exploration of the experiences of paramedics taking part in a large randomised trial of airway management, and the impact on their views and practice

      Kirby, Kim; Brandling, Janet; Robinson, Maria; Voss, Sarah; Benger, Jonathan (2019-09-24)
      Background The participation of over 1500 study paramedics in AIRWAYS-2 provides a unique opportunity for an in depth exploration of how the views and practice of study paramedics, in advanced airway management, may have developed as a result of their participation in AIRWAYS-2, and how their experiences can inform future trials in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Future prehospital guidelines and practice will not only be shaped by the results of large trials such as AIRWAYS-2, but also by the views and attitudes of UK paramedics towards OHCA, airway management and research. This study allows an opportunity to add depth and understanding to the results of AIRWAYS-2. Study aims To explore paramedics’ experiences of participating in a large cluster randomized trial of airway management during OHCA, specifically: The challenges of enrolling patients who are critically unwell and unable to consent; Barriers and facilitators to successful research in OHCA patients; The impact on paramedics’ clinical practice and airway management during and after the trial; The role of advanced airway management during OHCA. Methods Content analysis of an online survey of 1500 study paramedics to assess their experiences of participating in the trial and to establish any changes in their views and practice. Thematic analysis of telephone interviews with study paramedic to explore the findings of the online questionnaire. Exploring any changes in views and practice around advanced airway management as a result of participating in the trial; assessing experiences of trial training and enrolling critically unwell patients without consent, and exploring the barriers and facilitators for trial participation and the views of paramedics on the future role of advanced airway management during OHCA. Results and conclusions The study is in the analysis phase and is due to complete and report by the 31st January 2019. https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/10/e12.1. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2019-999abs.27
    • Time: take-home naloxone in multicentre emergency settings: protocol for a feasibility study

      Jones, Matthew; Snooks, Helen; Bulger, Jenna; Watkins, Alan; Moore, Chris; Edwards, Adrian; Evans, Birdie A.; Fuller, Gordon; John, Ann; Benger, Jonathan; et al. (2019-01-14)
      Background Opioids such as heroin kill more people worldwide than any other drug. Death rates associated with opioid poisoning in the UK are at record levels. Naloxone is an opioid agonist which can be distributed in take home ‘kits’. This intervention is known as Take Home Naloxone (THN). Methods We propose to carry out a randomised controlled feasibility trial (RCT) of THN distributed in emergency settings clustered by Emergency Department (ED) catchment area, and local ambulance service; with anonymised linked data outcomes. This will include distribution of THN by paramedics and ED staff to patients at risk of opioid overdose. Existing linked data will be used to develop a discriminant function to retrospectively identify people at high risk of overdose death based on observable predictors of overdose to include in outcome follow up. Results We will gather outcomes up to one year including; deaths (and drug related); emergency admissions; intensive care admissions; ED attendances (and overdose related); 999 attendances (and for overdose); THN kits issued; and NHS resource usage. We will agree progression criteria following consultation with research team members related to sign up of sites; successful identification and provision of THN to eligible participants; successful follow up of eligible participants and opioid decedents; adverse event rate; successful data matching and data linkage; and retrieval of outcomes within three months of projected timeline. Conclusions THN programmes are currently run by some drug services in the UK. However, saturation is low. There has been a lack of experimental research in to THN, and so questions remain: Does THN reduce deaths? Are there unforeseen harms associated with THN? Is THN cost effective? This feasibility study will establish whether a fully powered cluster RCT can be used to answer these questions. https://emj.bmj.com/content/36/1/e10.1. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2019-999.24