• 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
    • ECPs: avoiding emergency department attendance or hospital admission?

      Coates, David (2010-04)
      The aim of the literature review was to identify and appraise studies that have compared the effectiveness and decision-making of emergency care practitioners with other health professionals. There is no ‘gold standard’ for determining whether the actions of an emergency care practitioner (ECP) results in a patient avoiding attendance at an emergency department (ED) or hospital admission. Consequently, reporting on the cost effectiveness of ECPs is potentially spurious, especially as the cost difference between ED attendance and hospital admission is considerable. Medline and EMBASE databases were searched for publications relevant to the study area. Additional searches were carried out using the online search function offered by the Cochrane Library and the Emergency Medicine Journal. Twenty-nine publications met the inclusion criteria. Nineteen of these papers were considered suitable for background information only. Ten studies were analyzed in further detail and three main themes identified: non-conveyance rates, decision-making and admission avoidance. Studies show that patients assessed by ECPs are less likely to be conveyed to the ED, than when attended by a traditional ambulance response. The Department of Health (DH, 2005) refer to a traditional ambulance service response to a 999 call as sending a double-crewed paramedic ambulance to the patient, provide any necessary life support to stabilize the patient and transport to the ED. The decision-making of ECPs compares favourably with other health professionals when deciding whether a patient can be treated at home, or requires ED attendance or hospital admission. No studies were found that determined whether an ECP is able to accurately decide whether their intervention results in patients avoiding ED attendance or admission. There is a need to evaluate the validity of data collection methods which differentiate between emergency department and admission avoidance as a result of the actions of ECPs. Abstract published with permission.
    • How do people with dementia use the ambulance service? A retrospective study in England: the HOMEWARD project

      Voss, Sarah; Brandling, Janet; Taylor, Hazel; Black, Sarah; Buswell, Marina; Cheston, Richard; Cullum, Sarah; Foster, Theresa; Kirby, Kim; Prothero, Larissa; et al. (2018-08)
      https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/7/e022549 Objectives An increasing number of older people are calling ambulances and presenting to accident and emergency departments. The presence of comorbidities and dementia can make managing these patients more challenging and hospital admission more likely, resulting in poorer outcomes for patients. However, we do not know how many of these patients are conveyed to hospital by ambulance. This study aims to determine: how often ambulances are called to older people; how often comorbidities including dementia are recorded; the reason for the call; provisional diagnosis; the amount of time ambulance clinicians spend on scene; the frequency with which these patients are transported to hospital. Methods We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study of ambulance patient care records (PCRs) from calls to patients aged 65 years and over. Data were collected from two ambulance services in England during 24 or 48 hours periods in January 2017 and July 2017. The records were examined by two researchers using a standard template and the data were extracted from 3037 PCRs using a coding structure. Results Results were reported as percentages and means with 95% CIs. Dementia was recorded in 421 (13.9%) of PCRs. Patients with dementia were significantly less likely to be conveyed to hospital following an emergency call than those without dementia. The call cycle times were similar for patients regardless of whether or not they had dementia. Calls to people with dementia were more likely to be due to injury following a fall. In the overall sample, one or more comorbidities were reported on the PCR in over 80% of cases. Conclusion Rates of hospital conveyance for older people may be related to comorbidities, frailty and complex needs, rather than dementia. Further research is needed to understand the way in which ambulance clinicians make conveyance decisions at scene. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6074617/pdf/bmjopen-2018-022549.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/bmjopen-2018-022549
    • A qualitative study on conveyance decision-making during emergency call outs to people with dementia: the HOMEWARD project

      Voss, Sarah; Brandling, Janet; Pollard, Katherine; Taylor, Hazel; Black, Sarah; Buswell, Marina; Cheston, Richard; Cullum, Sarah; Foster, Theresa; Kirby, Kim; et al. (2020-01-29)