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New targets for emergency response
[Posted: Wed 19/01/2011 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
Healthcare emergency services should respond to immediately life-threatening emergency calls within eight minutes, according to new targets published by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).
The health safety watchdog says ambulance services should start immediately using its new pre-hospital emergency care key performance indicators for emergency response times.
It says the new targets will require a major reorganisation and streamlining of ambulance services and probably longer waiting times for less urgent cases.
The HIQA report outlines time-based response targets for patients with emergency conditions such as heart attacks. It also requires service providers to begin publicly reporting their response-time performance later this year.
It recommends that ambulance services must aim to be on the scene for life-threatening patient emergencies within set timeframes, and to achieve these in most cases.
The HIQA report states that the implementation of its new performance indicators and targets for life-threatening calls will drive changes in the quality and safety of pre-hospital emergency care in Ireland.
The safety body admits that implementing the new targets will require significant changes in the organisation and deployment of ambulance services in order to ensure that patients with the most serious emergencies receive the fastest on-the-scene response.
However, HIQA says this may mean that patients with less urgent needs, for example, non-life threatening injuries, will wait longer for an on-the-scene response.
The new targets state that patients with a life-threatening cardiac or respiratory arrest incident be responded to by a first responder, which includes paramedics or community cardiac first responders, within seven minutes and 59 seconds in all cases.
The same target applies to patients with other life-threatening conditions.
A target of 18 minutes 59 seconds is set for patient-carrying vehicles to be at the scene where patients have serious but not life-threatening conditions which require an immediate response.
Director of Healthcare Quality and Safety with HIQA, Jon Billings, said, historically, the absence of performance indicators and response targets for emergency services in Ireland has been a major gap in what is needed for a safe, good quality service.
Mr Billings said a timely pre-hospital emergency team response to acute medical events, such as patients suffering from heart attacks, is known to improve the outcomes for patients.
"Experience in other jurisdictions shows that putting in place approaches to achieve these targets requires ambulance services to review how they provide the overall service and can result in widespread improvements in emergency care.”
Fine Gael's Dr James Reilly said the HSE must now ensure that the recommendations are integrated into the
health system as quickly as practically possible.
"The outcomes for patients in emergency situations are significantly affected by responsetimes. Improvements in this area will certainly be most welcome."
Read the full guidelines here
|nk1 Posted: 19/01/2011 15:16|
|anony Posted: 19/01/2011 21:19|
They are now going to have an 8 minute arrival time. What kind of ambulances are they going to produce to do that?
|anony Posted: 20/01/2011 20:09|
It is now clearer than earlier. They are going to set up community emergency voluntary response personnel with defibs who will fill the gap till the ambulance arrives. Wonder will these volunteers be given the 'motorbikes' for first responders? Will they be put on a rota? Will it soon be that people will be expected to work for nothing? Volunteer Garda, Volunteer Teachers, Volunteer Firemen, Volunteer Rescue teams, Volunteer carers, and now volunteer GPs. Great country this.
|Anonymous Posted: 24/01/2011 11:01|
good point nk1
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