• Perceived areas for future intervention and research addressing conveyance decisions and potential threats to patient safety: stakeholder workshops

      O'Hara, Rachel; Johnson, Maxine; Hirst, Enid; Weyman, Andrew; Shaw, Deborah; Mortimer, Peter; Newman, Chris; Storey, Matthew; Turner, Janette; Mason, Suzanne; et al. (2016-09)
      Background As part of a study examining systemic influences on conveyance decisions by paramedics and potential threats to patient safety, stakeholder workshops were conducted with three Ambulance Service Trusts in England. The study identified seven overarching systemic influences: demand; priorities; access to care; risk tolerance; training, communication and resources. The aim of the workshops was to elicit feedback on the findings and identify perceived areas for future intervention and research. Attendees were also asked to rank the seven threats to patient safety in terms of their perceived importance for future attention. Methods A total of 45 individuals attended across all the workshops, 28 ambulance service staff and 17 service user representatives. Discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. A paper based paired comparison approach was used to produce an ordinal ranking to illustrate the relative prioritisation of issues. Analysis included testing for internal consistency and between-rater agreement for this relatively small sample. Findings The two highest ranking priorities were training and development, as well as access to care. The areas for intervention identified represent what attendees perceived as feasible to undertake and relate to: care options; cross boundary working; managing demand; staff development; information and feedback; and commissioning decisions. Perceived areas for research specifically address conveyance decisions and potential threats to patient safety. 17 areas for research were proposed that directly relate to six of the systemic threats to patient safety. Conclusions Feedback workshops were effective in the validation of findings as well as providing an opportunity to identify priorities for future interventions and research. They also facilitated discussion between a variety of Ambulance Service staff and service user representatives. Ongoing collaboration between members of the research team has enabled some of the research recommendations to be explored as part of a mutually agreed research agenda. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/33/9/e7.3.full.pdf 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/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2016-206139.25
    • Reliability and validity of an ambulance patient reported experience measure (a-prem): pilot study

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Togher, Fiona Jayne; Akanuwe, Joseph; Spaight, Anne (2017-10)
      Background There are no prehospital ambulance Patient Reported Experience Measures (A-PREMs) routinely used to support service comparisons and improvement. We developed an A-PREM, generating items through secondary analysis of ambulance patient interview data, and refining the instrument using expert assessment and cognitive interviews of service users. We aimed to pilot the A-PREM (48 experience and 12 attribute items) investigating user acceptability, reliability and construct validity. Methods Ambulance users attended by a UK regional ambulance service within the previous six months, excluding those suffering cardiac arrest, were sent a self-administered A-PREM. Returned questionnaires were entered into Microsoft Excel and imported into SPSS v22 for analysis. Experience items were recoded to range from 0 (don’t know/can’t remember) to 3 (best recorded experience). Descriptive analysis for item frequencies and missing values, reliability analyses for potential scales and tests of correlation and association were conducted. Results In all, 111 A-PREMs (22.2%) were returned. Missing data were highest for call-taking items. There was a significant association with a shorter wait for first response for four items measuring overall experience of call-taking (χ, p=0.05), ambulance staff (p<0.001), ambulance overall (p=0.001) and A and E (p=0.023). Four separate experience scales encompassing call taking (AmbCallScore, α=0.91), care at scene (AmbCareScore, α=0.90), care on leaving the patient (AmbLeaveScore, α=0.69), and care on transport (AmbTranScore α=0.71), showed satisfactory to high internal consistencies and distributions indicating generally positive experiences. AmbCallScore, AmbCareScore and AmbLeaveScore showed significantly higher scores (ANOVA) with shorter wait to first response. There were no significant differences for overall measures or scales by sex or age of participant, whether they were transported to hospital or not and whether it was their first experience of the ambulance service. Conclusion Our findings show that the A-PREM should be tested more widely for evidence of reliability, validity and sensitivity to different care and settings. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/e6.2 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/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2017-207114.17
    • Spotlight on Research

      Cormack, Stef; Whitley, Gregory; Gregory, Pete (2020-03-12)
      Harari Y, Riemer R, Jaff E, Wacht O, Bitan Y.Paramedic equipment bags: how their position during out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) affect paramedic ergonomics and performance. Appl Ergonomics. 2020; 82:102977 The position of bags during an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) may not be seen as a priority for many paramedics. However, Harari et al (2019) argue that paramedics are at a high risk of musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries and that paramedic performance is affected by where bags are placed and moved during an OHCA. Their study examined 12 teams of paramedics (two per team) during a simulated OHCA. Measurements included bag placement, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) quality, physiological effort and biomechanical loads. Although conducted in Israel, personnel and equipment bags were not dissimilar to UK practice. Results established that despite a relatively low mean number of bag movements (6.8), the mean biomechanical load force exerted was high (89N), resulting in 72% of paramedic movements associated with a high to very high risk of an MSK injury. The positioning of bags appeared to negatively affect CPR quality, with a mean of 68% of compressions within the recommended rate, and only 27% within the recommended depth. Physiologically, there was no significant difference between paramedics' heart rates or perceived effort. The findings highlight the significant risk of MSK injury when moving bags and the possibility that a standardised layout may improve CPR quality. However, this is dependent on the patient location/position, number of paramedics attending and a team's ability to recognise tiredness/ineffective CPR. Whitley GA, Hemingway P, Law GR et al.Predictors of effective management of acute pain in children within a UK ambulance service: a cross-sectional study. Am J Emerg Med. 2019; In Press This retrospective observational study aimed to identify which children were more likely to achieve effective pain management when suffering acute pain and attended by a UK ambulance service. For the purpose of this study, effective pain management was defined as the abolition or reduction of pain by ≥2 out of 10 using the numeric pain rating scale, Wong-Baker FACES® scale or FLACC (face, legs, activity, crying and consolability) scale. Data for 2312 children were included in a multivariable logistic regression analysis which adjusted for a number of confounding factors including child age, child sex, type of pain, senior clinician experience, analgesia administration, nonpharmacological treatment administration, paramedic crew, hospital travel time and index of multiple deprivation. Results showed that children who were younger, attended by a paramedic, administered analgesia or living in an area of medium or low deprivation were significantly more likely to achieve effective pain management. A subgroup analysis showed that analgesia administration did not predict effective pain management for younger children aged 0–5 years; the authors hypothesised that non-pharmacological interventions are more effective in this age group. Qualitative research is in progress to help explain these findings. Wołoszyn P, Baumberg I, Baker D. The reliability of noninvasive blood pressure measurement through layers of autumn/winter clothing: a prospective study. Wilderness Environ Med. 2019; 30(3):227–235 Noninvasive blood pressure (NIBP) measurement is a key part of the cardiovascular assessment, and traditional teaching has emphasised the need to have direct contact between the cuff and bare skin in order to obtain accurate readings. This is not always feasible in the out-of-hospital environment where patients may be clad in multiple layers of clothing in the colder months. This prospective study investigated the reliability of NIBP measurements performed through two and three layers of autumn/winter clothing in two research groups: healthy volunteers and patients. NIBP measurements were made in a random order: on the exposed arm; on the arm covered by a standardised cotton and polar fabric test sleeve; and with the arm covered by a cotton-polar fabric and down jacket test sleeve. The time taken for measurement was also recorded. NIBP measurements were taken on 101 volunteers and 50 patients, and no clinically or statistically significant differences were found. Measuring over a sleeved arm extended the time of measurement by an average of 3.5 seconds in comparison with bare arm measurement. Although not conclusive, this study adds to earlier studies that have reported reliable results when NIBP was carried out over a layer of light clothing such as a cotton shirt or light sweater. Abstract published with permission.
    • Supporting research and development in ambulance services: research for better health care in prehospital settings

      Siriwardena, Aloysius; Donohoe, Rachel; Stephenson, John; Phillips, Paul (2010-04-12)
      Background This paper discusses recent developments in research support for ambulance trusts in England and Wales and how this could be designed to lead to better implementation, collaboration in and initiation of high-quality research to support a truly evidence-based service. Method The National Ambulance Research Steering Group was set up in 2007 to establish the strategic direction for involvement of regional ambulance services in developing relevant and well-designed research for improving the quality of services to patients. Results Ambulance services have been working together and with academic partners to implement research and to participate, collaborate and lead the design of research that is relevant for patients and ambulance services. Conclusion New structures to support the strategic development of ambulance and prehospital research will help address gaps in the evidence for health interventions and service delivery in prehospital and ambulance care and ensure that ambulance services can increase their capacity and capability for high-quality research. https://emj.bmj.com/content/27/4/324. 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.2009.072363