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Abstract

The current scoping review seeks to locate, examine and describe international literature on indicators used to measure pre-hospital care quality. Specifically, the review will: Map attributes of definitions or descriptions of ''quality'' in the context of pre-hospital care provided by ambulance services. Chart indicators that have been developed to measure pre-hospital care quality and detail their development processes as well as how the indicators fit into respective measurement frameworks/matrixes. © 2017 Joanna Briggs Institute. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.

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... The primary lesson from this paper should be that author teams follow current methodological guidance (rather than previously published scoping reviews) and prepare their manuscripts for publication following the reporting requirements of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 PRISMA-ScR, noting this is important for publication in contemporary journals. [11,12] The key aspects of a scoping review project highlighted in this paper include: ...
... The use of a pre-planning phase is important for project management, and if 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 incorporated well, will lead to a better quality scoping review, which is more likely to be suited to publication. [12] Ensuring alignment between the objectives, title and inclusion criteria is essential in any review project, arguably moreso in a scoping review due to the increased volume of data that the review team have to manage, the alignment between objectives, title and inclusion criteria will help ensure the review team focus on the review question, without getting side-tracked. [4,6] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 Table 1 Click here to access/download Table Table_1.docx ...
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Scoping reviews are a useful approach to synthesizing research evidence although the objectives and methods are different to that of systematic reviews, yet some confusion persists around how to plan and prepare so that a completed scoping review complies with best practice in methods and meets international standards for reporting criteria. This paper describes how to use available guidance to ensure a scoping review project meets global standards, has transparency of methods and promotes readability though the use of innovative approaches to data analysis and presentation. We address some of the common issues such as which projects are more suited to systematic reviews, how to avoid an inadequate search and/or poorly reported search strategy, poorly described methods and lack of transparency, and the issue of how to plan and present results that are clear, visually compelling and accessible to readers. Effective pre-planning, adhering to protocol and detailed consideration of how the results data will be communicated to the readership are critical. The aim of this article is to provide clarity about what is meant by conceptual clarity and how pre-planning enables review authors to produce scoping reviews which are of high quality, reliability and readily publishable.
... 30 The current scoping review sought to locate, examine and describe the literature on indicators used to measure prehospital care quality. Prior to SYSTEMATIC REVIEW R. Pap the development of the protocol, 42 a preliminary search of the JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for previous scoping or systematic reviews on the topic was performed and revealed no results. This scoping review is useful for healthcare professionals of ambulance services who are involved in quality improvement programs and researchers investigating ways of measuring ambulance service quality and performance. ...
... This is illustrated in Figure 6. As detailed in the protocol for the review, 42 the authors had intended to present a table combining duplicate QIs and showing frequency counts. However, due to significant heterogeneity amongst the QIs this synthesis was deemed infeasible. ...
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Objective: The purpose of this scoping review was to locate, examine and describe the literature on indicators used to measure prehospital care quality. Introduction: The performance of ambulance services and quality of prehospital care has traditionally been measured using simple indicators, such as response time intervals, based on low-level evidence. The discipline of paramedicine has evolved significantly over the last few decades. Consequently, the validity of utilizing such measures as holistic prehospital care quality indicators (QIs) has been challenged. There is growing interest in finding new and more significant ways to measure prehospital care quality. Inclusion criteria: This scoping review examined the concepts of prehospital care quality and QIs developed for ambulance services. This review considered primary and secondary research in any paradigm and utilizing any methods, as well as text and opinion research. Methods: Joanna Briggs Institute methodology for conducting scoping reviews was employed. Separate searches were conducted for two review questions; review question 1 addressed the definition of prehospital care quality and review question 2 addressed characteristics of QIs in the context of prehospital care. The following databases were searched: PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Library and Web of Science. The searches were limited to publications from January 1, 2000 to the day of the search (April 16, 2017). Non-English articles were excluded. To supplement the above, searches for gray literature were performed, experts in the field of study were consulted and applicable websites were perused. Results: Review question 1: Nine articles were included. These originated mostly from England (n = 3, 33.3%) and the USA (n = 3, 33.3%). Only one study specifically aimed at defining prehospital care quality. Five articles (55.5%) described attributes specific to prehospital care quality and four (44.4%) articles considered generic healthcare quality attributes to be applicable to the prehospital context. A total of 17 attributes were identified. The most common attributes were Clinical effectiveness (n = 17, 100%), Efficiency (n = 7, 77.8%), Equitability (n = 7, 77.8%) and Safety (n = 6, 66.7%). Timeliness and Accessibility were referred to by four and three (44.4% and 33.3%) articles, respectively.Review question 2: Thirty articles were included. The predominant source of articles was research literature (n = 23; 76.7%) originating mostly from the USA (n = 13; 43.3%). The most frequently applied QI development method was a form of consensus process (n = 15; 50%). A total of 526 QIs were identified. Of these, 283 (53.8%) were categorized as Clinical and 243 (46.2%) as System/Organizational QIs. Within these categories respectively, QIs related to Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (n = 57; 10.8%) and Time intervals (n = 75; 14.3%) contributed the most. The most commonly addressed prehospital care quality attributes were Appropriateness (n = 250, 47.5%), Clinical effectiveness (n = 174, 33.1%) and Accessibility (n = 124, 23.6%). Most QIs were process indicators (n = 386, 73.4%). Conclusion: Whilst there is paucity in research aiming to specifically define prehospital care quality, the attributes of generic healthcare quality definitions appear to be accepted and applicable to the prehospital context. There is growing interest in developing prehospital care QIs. However, there is a need for validation of existing QIs and de novo development addressing broader aspects of prehospital care.
... 18 The objectives, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and methods were specified in advance and documented in a protocol. 19 The review's systematic search confirmed paucity in the literature that defines prehospital care quality or examines which dimensions of generic healthcare quality definitions are important in prehospital care. However, synthesis of included articles suggested that timely access to appropriate, safe and effective care which is responsive to a patient's needs and efficient and equitable to populations is reflective of high-quality prehospital care. ...
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Introduction Historically, ambulance services were established to provide rapid transport of patients to hospital. Contemporary prehospital care involves provision of sophisticated ‘mobile healthcare’ to patients across the lifespan presenting with a range of injuries or illnesses of varying acuity. Because of its young age, the paramedicine profession has until recently experienced a lack of research capacity which has led to paucity of a discipline-specific, scientific evidence-base. Therefore, the performance and quality of ambulance services has traditionally been measured using simple, evidence-poor indicators forming a deficient reflection of the true quality of care and providing little direction for quality improvement efforts. This paper reports the study protocol for the development and testing of quality indicators (QIs) for the Australian prehospital care setting. Methods and analysis This project has three phases. In the first phase, preliminary work in the form of a scoping review was conducted which provided an initial list of QIs. In the subsequent phase, these QIs will be developed by aggregating them and by performing related rapid reviews. The summarised evidence will be used to support an expert consensus process aimed at optimising the clarity and evaluating the validity of proposed QIs. Finally, in the third phase those QIs deemed valid will be tested for acceptability, feasibility and reliability using mixed research methods. Evidence-based indicators can facilitate meaningful measurement of the quality of care provided. This forms the first step to identify unwarranted variation and direction for improvement work. This project will develop and test quality indicators for the Australian prehospital care setting. Ethics and dissemination This project has been approved by the University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee. Findings will be disseminated by publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at appropriate scientific conferences, as well as posts on social media and on the project’s website.
... La principal función de los SEM es la entrega oportuna y en unas condiciones seguras de los pacientes hacia una atención hospitalaria definitiva, con la previa actuación en un contexto no sanitario. Históricamente, la medición de la calidad en la atención de estos servicios se ha llevado a cabo en gran medida con base en unos criterios, como los intervalos de tiempo de activación de las unidades, el tiempo de respuesta u otras medidas de atención como la satisfacción de los pacientes con la asistencia recibida 6,7 o la tasa de supervivencia del paro cardiaco extrahospitalario 8 . Sin embargo, existe una gran cantidad de literatura que sugiere que adherirse a tales medidas produce beneficios limitados, ya que solo pueden aplicarse a pacientes seleccionados y por sí mismas son insuficientes para evaluar la calidad de la atención en las emergencias extrahospitalarias proporcionada por los SEM [9][10][11][12][13] . ...
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Aunque son muchos los indicadores de calidad (IC) definidos para establecer un sistema común, homogéneo y fiable de evaluación sobre la actividad en los servicios de urgencias, es escasa la información acerca de los IC relacionados con las emergencias atendidas en el ámbito extrahospitalario. El objetivo de este trabajo es identificar y analizar, a través de la literatura científica publicada, los IC específicos de dicha atención ante emergencias fuera del contexto hospitalario. Se realizó una revisión sistemática de la literatura según las recomendaciones PRISMA. Se exploraron 5 bases de datos y se elaboraron protocolos de búsqueda para localizar estudios que aportasen información sobre IC para evaluar la atención en emergencias extrahospitalarias, entre noviembre de 2017 y julio de 2018, tanto en inglés como en español. Se analizaron un total de 22 estudios y se identificaron un total de 333 IC en emergencias extrahospitalarias que fueron clasificados en clínicos y no clínicos, con sus subdominios correspondientes para cada grupo. El número de IC no clínicos identificados en la búsqueda fue superior, pudiendo concluir que son los más utilizados para evaluar la atención en las emergencias extrahospitalarias en la actualidad y dejando la puerta abierta para el diseño e implementación de nuevos IC capaces de evaluar la actividad fuera del contexto hospitalario. Palabras clave: Servicios médicos de emergencia. Indicadores de calidad, cuidados de salud. Gestión de calidad total. Aseguramiento de la calidad, cuidado de la salud. Seguridad del paciente. Ambulancias. Although many health care quality indicators have been defined for establishing a common, homogeneous, and reliable system for assessing emergency department care, less information is available on the use of indicators of quality in attending emergencies outside the hospital. We aimed to identify and analyze quality indicators that have appeared in the literature on out-of-hospital emergencies. This systematic review of the literature followed the ations of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). We developed protocols for searching 5 databases to locate studies using quality indicators to evaluate care in out-of-hospital emergencies. Studies were published between July 2017 and July 2018 in either English or Spanish. We identified 22 studies naming 333 quality indicators in out-of-hospital emergencies. The indicators were classified as clinical or nonclinical; within each of these 2 sets, we also identified domains, or subcategories. As nonclinical quality identifiers were more numerous in the literature, it seems that they are the ones most often used to assess out-of-hospital emergency care at this time. This finding leaves the door open to designing and implementing new indicators able to measure quality of care in this clinical setting. Keywords: Emergency medical services. Health care quality indicators. Total quality management. Health care quality assessment. Patient safety. Ambulance.
Article
Background Globally, the measurement of quality is an important process that supports the provision of high-quality and safe healthcare services. The requirement for valid quality measurement to gauge improvements and monitor performance is echoed in the Australian prehospital care setting. The aim of this study was to use an evidence-informed expert consensus process to identify valid quality indicators (QIs) for Australian prehospital care provided by ambulance services. Methods A modified RAND/UCLA appropriateness method was conducted with a panel of Australian prehospital care experts from February to May 2019. The proposed QIs stemmed from a scoping review and were systematically prepared within a clinical and non-clinical classification system, and a structure/process/outcome and access/safety/effectiveness taxonomy. Rapid reviews were performed for each QI to produce evidence summaries for consideration by the panellists. QIs were deemed valid if the median score by the panel was 7–9 without disagreement. Results Of 117 QIs, the expert panel rated 84 (72%) as valid. This included 26 organisational/system QIs across 7 subdomains and 58 clinical QIs within 10 subdomains. Most QIs were process indicators (n=62; 74%) while QIs describing structural elements and desired outcomes were less common (n=13; 15% and n=9; 11%, respectively). Non-exclusively, 18 (21%) QIs addressed access to healthcare, 21 (25%) described safety aspects and 64 (76%) specified elements contributing to effective services and care. QIs on general time intervals, such as response time, were not considered valid by the panel. Conclusion This study demonstrates that with consideration of best available evidence a substantial proportion of QIs scoped and synthesised from the international literature are valid for use in the Australian prehospital care context.
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Background Community paramedicine programs have emerged throughout North America and beyond in response to demographic changes and health system reform. Our aim was to identify and analyse how community paramedics create and maintain new role boundaries and identities in terms of flexibility and permeability and through this develop and frame a coherent community paramedicine model of care that distinguish the model from other innovations in paramedic service delivery. Methods Using an observational ethnographic case study approach, we collected data through interviews, focus groups and field observations. We then applied a combination of thematic analysis techniques and boundary theory to develop a community paramedicine model of care. Results A model of care that distinguishes community paramedicine from other paramedic service innovations emerged that follows the mnemonic RESPIGHT: Response to emergencies; Engaging with communities; Situated practice; Primary health care; Integration with health, aged care and social services; Governance and leadership; Higher education; Treatment and transport options. Conclusions Community engagement and situated practice distinguish community paramedicine models of care from other paramedicine and out-of-hospital health care models. Successful community paramedicine programs are integrated with health, aged care and social services and benefit from strong governance and paramedic leadership.
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Measuring quality in Emergency Medical Services (EMSs) systems is challenging. This paper reviews the current approaches to measuring quality in health care and EMS with a focus on currently used clinical performance indicators in EMS systems (US and international systems). The different types of performance indicators, the advantages and limitations of each type, and the evidence-based prehospital clinical bundles are discussed. This paper aims at introducing emergency physicians and health care providers to quality initiatives in EMS and serves as a reference for tools that EMS medical directors can use to launch new or modify existing quality control programs in their systems.
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This paper defines quality of health care. We suggest that there are two principal dimensions of quality of care for individual patients; access and effectiveness. In essence, do users get the care they need, and is the care effective when they get it? Within effectiveness, we define two key components--effectiveness of clinical care and effectiveness of inter-personal care. These elements are discussed in terms of the structure of the health care system, processes of care, and outcomes resulting from care. The framework relates quality of care to individual patients and we suggest that quality of care is a concept that is at its most meaningful when applied to the individual user of health care. However, care for individuals must placed in the context of providing health care for populations which introduces additional notions of equity and efficiency. We show how this framework can be of practical value by applying the concepts to a set of quality indicators contained within the UK National Performance Assessment Framework and to a set of widely used indicators in the US (HEDIS). In so doing we emphasise the differences between US and UK measures of quality. Using a conceptual framework to describe the totality of quality of care shows which aspects of care any set of quality indicators actually includes and measures and, and which are not included.
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Quality indicators have been developed throughout Europe primarily for use in hospitals, but also increasingly for primary care. Both development and application are important but there has been less research on the application of indicators. Three issues are important when developing or applying indicators: (1). which stakeholder perspective(s) are the indicators intended to reflect; (2). what aspects of health care are being measured; and (3). what evidence is available? The information required to develop quality indicators can be derived using systematic or non-systematic methods. Non-systematic methods such as case studies play an important role but they do not tap in to available evidence. Systematic methods can be based directly on scientific evidence by combining available evidence with expert opinion, or they can be based on clinical guidelines. While it may never be possible to produce an error free measure of quality, measures should adhere, as far as possible, to some fundamental a priori characteristics (acceptability, feasibility, reliability, sensitivity to change, and validity). Adherence to these characteristics will help maximise the effectiveness of quality indicators in quality improvement strategies. It is also necessary to consider what the results of applying indicators tell us about quality of care.
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To develop and evaluate "Treat and Refer" protocols for ambulance crews, allowing them to leave patients at the scene with onward referral or self-care advice as appropriate. Crew members from one ambulance station were trained to use the treatment protocols. Processes and outcomes of care for patients attended by trained crews were compared with similar patients attended by crews from a neighbouring station. Pre-hospital records were collected for all patients. Records of any emergency department and primary care contacts during the 14 days following the call were collected for non-conveyed patients who were also followed up by postal questionnaire. Twenty three protocols were developed which were expected to cover over 75% of patients left at the scene by the attending crew. There were 251 patients in the intervention arm and 537 in the control arm. The two groups were similar in terms of age, sex and condition category but intervention cases were more likely to have been attended during daytime hours than at night. There was no difference in the proportion of patients left at the scene in the intervention and control arms; the median job cycle time was longer for intervention group patients. Protocols were reported as having been used in 101 patients (40.2%) in the intervention group; 17 of the protocols were recorded as having been used at least once during the study. Clinical documentation was generally higher in the intervention group, although a similar proportion of patients in both groups had no clinical assessments recorded. 288 patients were left at the scene (93 in the intervention group, 195 in the control group). After excluding those who refused to travel, there were three non-conveyed patients in each group who were admitted to hospital within 14 days of the call who were judged to have been left at home inappropriately. A higher proportion of patients in the intervention arm reported satisfaction with the service and advice provided. "Treat and Refer" protocols did not increase the number of patients left at home but were used by crews and were acceptable to patients. The protocols increased job cycle time and some safety issues were identified. Their introduction is complex, and the extent to which the content of the protocols, decision support and training can be refined needs further study.
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p>This review explores a selection of existing methods that measure ambulance service performance and identifies a performance framework that could be useful in a variety of contextual settings. It drew on a selection of well-known performance frameworks currently in use within emergency, health and ambulance systems. It is recommended that ambulance authorities adopt a health services performance framework in preference to the widely used emergency services framework with its heavy emphasis on time intervals such as response times. This suggested framework should be able to accommodate a wide range of validated clinical and non-clinical performance indicators that better reflect the position of ambulance services as part of the health system.</p
Chapter
For most of human history, the care of the wounded in war or the sick and injured in the community was not of great concern to generals or those in civil authority. Exceptions existed, but these did not lead to a general movement towards the provision of ambulance services on the battlefield or the street. Then in 1792, a surgeon in the Napoleonic army designed the first threefold system of good military ambulance practice, treating the wounded in situ, speedily transporting them from the place of conflict and providing a safe facility for aftercare. In 1866, a doctor in New York organised the first civil ambulance service which was summoned by telegraph, thereby completing the four features upon which modern ambulance services are based: dedicated teams, standby vehicles, reception hospitals and electronic communication. After slow and uncertain beginnings, ambulances began to save increasing numbers of lives using ingenuity and technological innovation.
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Objective: To develop and evaluate “Treat and Refer” protocols for ambulance crews, allowing them to leave patients at the scene with onward referral or self-care advice as appropriate. Methods: Crew members from one ambulance station were trained to use the treatment protocols. Processes and outcomes of care for patients attended by trained crews were compared with similar patients attended by crews from a neighbouring station. Pre-hospital records were collected for all patients. Records of any emergency department and primary care contacts during the 14 days following the call were collected for non-conveyed patients who were also followed up by postal questionnaire. Results: Twenty three protocols were developed which were expected to cover over 75% of patients left at the scene by the attending crew. There were 251 patients in the intervention arm and 537 in the control arm. The two groups were similar in terms of age, sex and condition category but intervention cases were more likely to have been attended during daytime hours than at night. There was no difference in the proportion of patients left at the scene in the intervention and control arms; the median job cycle time was longer for intervention group patients. Protocols were reported as having been used in 101 patients (40.2%) in the intervention group; 17 of the protocols were recorded as having been used at least once during the study. Clinical documentation was generally higher in the intervention group, although a similar proportion of patients in both groups had no clinical assessments recorded. 288 patients were left at the scene (93 in the intervention group, 195 in the control group). After excluding those who refused to travel, there were three non-conveyed patients in each group who were admitted to hospital within 14 days of the call who were judged to have been left at home inappropriately. A higher proportion of patients in the intervention arm reported satisfaction with the service and advice provided. Conclusions: “Treat and Refer” protocols did not increase the number of patients left at home but were used by crews and were acceptable to patients. The protocols increased job cycle time and some safety issues were identified. Their introduction is complex, and the extent to which the content of the protocols, decision support and training can be refined needs further study.
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Most health care quality improvement efforts target measures of health care structures, processes, and/or outcomes. Structural measures examine relatively fixed aspects of health care delivery such as physical plant and human resources. Process measures, the focus of the largest proportion of quality improvement efforts, assess specific transactions in clinical-patient encounters, such as use of appropriate surgical antibiotic prophylaxis, which are expected to improve outcomes. Outcome measures, which comprise quality of life endpoints as well as morbidity and mortality, are of greatest interest to clinicians and patients, but entail the greatest complexity, as the majority of variance in outcomes is attributable to patient and environmental factors that may not be readily modifiable. Selecting among structure, process, and outcome measures for quality improvement efforts generally will be dictated by the specific clinical situation for which improvement is desired.
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This paper provides a brief review of definitions, characteristics, and categories of clinical indicators for quality improvement in health care. Clinical indicators assess particular health structures, processes, and outcomes. They can be rate- or mean-based, providing a quantitative basis for quality improvement, or sentinel, identifying incidents of care that trigger further investigation. They can assess aspects of the structure, process, or outcome of health care. Furthermore, indicators can be generic measures that are relevant for most patients or disease-specific, expressing the quality of care for patients with specific diagnoses. Monitoring health care quality is impossible without the use of clinical indicators. They create the basis for quality improvement and prioritization in the health care system. To ensure that reliable and valid clinical indicators are used, they must be designed, defined, and implemented with scientific rigour.
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It has been stated that the Franco-German Emergency Medical Services System (FGS) has considerable drawbacks compared to the Anglo-American Emergency Medical Services System (AAS): 1. The key differences between the AAS and the FGS are that in the AAS, the patients is brought to the doctor, while in the FGS, the doctor is brought to the patient. 2. In the FGS, patients with urgent conditions usually are evaluated and treated by general practitioners in their offices or at the patient`s home; initially, very few approach an emergency department. 3. Emergency patients with life-threatening trauma or disease are treated by emergency physicians at the scene and during transport. Paramedics often are first to arrive at the scene, and until the emergency physician arrives at the scene, are allowed to defibrillate, to intubate endotracheal-ly, and to administer life-saving drugs (epinephrine endotracheally, glucose intravenously, etc.). 4. Prehospital emergency physicians treat patients at the scene and during transport. 5. Emergency patients are guaranteed to be reached by an appropriate emergency vehicle and a respective crew within 10 minutes in 80% of the responses and within 15 minutes in 95% of cases. 6. The FGS deploys qualified emergency physicians assisted by qualified paramedics as prehospital intensive care providers; extended immediate care is standard. Total Prehospital Times (TPT) and scene times only are minimally longer than in the AAS. 7. Emergency Medicine is recognized as a supra-specialty to the base specialties. Specific training programs exist for emergency physicians, medical directors of emergency medical services systems (EMSS), and chief emergency physicians (CEP). 8. Resuscitation attempts are carried out not only by anesthesiologists, but also by internists, surgeons, pediatricians, etc. Emergency medicine encompasses cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and shock cases, and patients with an acute myocardial infarction, stroke, poly-trauma, status asthmaticus, etc. Emergency patients are admitted directly to emergency departments of the hospitals, which, depending upon the size of the hospital. 9. The incidence of life-threatening trauma victims has decreased to <10% in the FGS. Of a total of 830,000 deaths/year, fatal trauma cases ranked the lowest at 4%. 10. Survival figures on cardiac arrest (asystole, ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia (VF/VT), pulseless electrical activity (PEA), etc.) reported in the German EMSS correspond to those in Europe and the United States. 11. Paramedic training is characterized by a two-year program followed by a theoretical and a practical examination. 12. Paramedics and emergency physicians-in-training are supervised at the scene and during transport. Quality assurance (Q/A) constitutes an integral and legally compulsory part of the EMSS. 13. In the majority of cases, the emergency patients are evaluated and treated by the respective specialties without delays caused by patient transfer to other hospitals. 14. The FGS does not require a greater number of ambulances and/or personnel than does the AAS. 15. The German healthcare system creates less expenses/ capita than the does the U.S. system at a similar level of quality of care. 16. Emergency procedures are carried out by anesthesiologists, emergency physicians, surgeons, internists, and other specialists.
Article
In a qualitative study of paramedics' attitudes to pre-hospital thrombolysis (PHT), the government target that emergency calls should receive a response within 8 minutes emerged as a key factor influencing attitudes to staff morale and attitudes to the job as a whole. A study was undertaken to examine paramedics' accounts of the effects on patient care and on their own health and safety of attempts to meet the 8 minute target. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 20 experienced paramedics (16 men) mostly aged 30-50 years with a mean length of service of 19 years. The paramedics were encouraged to raise issues which they themselves considered salient. The interviews were tape recorded, transcribed, and analysed according to the constant comparative method. The paramedics argued that response time targets are inadequate as a performance indicator. They dominate ambulance service culture and practice at the expense of other quality indicators and are vulnerable to "fiddling". The targets can conflict with other quality indicators such as timely administration of PHT and rapid transport of patients to hospital. The strategies introduced to meet the targets can be detrimental to patient care and also have adverse effects on the health, safety, wellbeing, and morale of paramedics. The results of this study suggest that the 8 minute response time is not evidence based and is putting patients and ambulance crews at risk. There is a need for less simplistic quality indicators which recognise that there are many stages between a patient's call for help and safe arrival in hospital.
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