emergency medical service communication systems


Summary: The use of communication systems, such as telecommunication, to transmit emergency information to appropriate providers of health services.

Top Publications

  1. Tanigawa K, Tanaka K. Emergency medical service systems in Japan: past, present, and future. Resuscitation. 2006;69:365-70 pubmed
    ..Currently, private services for transportation of non-acute or minor injury/illness have been introduced in some areas, and dispatch protocols to triage 119 calls are being developed. ..
  2. Ramanujam P, Guluma K, Castillo E, Chacon M, Jensen M, Patel E, et al. Accuracy of stroke recognition by emergency medical dispatchers and paramedics--San Diego experience. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2008;12:307-13 pubmed publisher
    ..This gives a sensitivity of 44% and a PPV of 40% for paramedics using CSS. In our EMS system, EMD using MPDS Stroke protocol with a high compliance has a higher sensitivity than paramedics using CSS. ..
  3. Scott G, Clawson J, Rector M, Massengale D, Thompson M, Patterson B, et al. The accuracy of emergency medical dispatcher-assisted layperson-caller pulse check using the medical priority dispatch system protocol. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27:252-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Improvements to the 911 instructions may further increase layperson accuracy. ..
  4. Feldman M, Verbeek P, Lyons D, Chad S, Craig A, Schwartz B. Comparison of the medical priority dispatch system to an out-of-hospital patient acuity score. Acad Emerg Med. 2006;13:954-60 pubmed
    ..The Medical Priority Dispatch System exhibits at least moderate sensitivity and specificity for detecting high acuity of illness or injury. This performance analysis may be used to identify target protocols for future improvements. ..
  5. Roppolo L, Pepe P, Cimon N, Gay M, Patterson B, Yancey A, et al. Modified cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instruction protocols for emergency medical dispatchers: rationale and recommendations. Resuscitation. 2005;65:203-10 pubmed
  6. Forslund K, Kihlgren A, Kihlgren M. Operators' experiences of emergency calls. J Telemed Telecare. 2004;10:290-7 pubmed
    ..The emergency operators stated that they needed more guidance, feedback and education in their work. This would lead to an increased sense of certainty, which would lead to decreased stress and a better outcome for those in need. ..
  7. Heward A, Damiani M, Hartley Sharpe C. Does the use of the Advanced Medical Priority Dispatch System affect cardiac arrest detection?. Emerg Med J. 2004;21:115-8 pubmed
    ..Additionally, the relation between factors identified suggests compliance with protocol is an important factor in the accurate recognition of patient conditions. ..
  8. Castren M, Karlsten R, Lippert F, Christensen E, Bovim E, Kvam A, et al. Recommended guidelines for reporting on emergency medical dispatch when conducting research in emergency medicine: the Utstein style. Resuscitation. 2008;79:193-7 pubmed publisher
  9. Yang C, Wang H, Chiang W, Hsu C, Chang W, Yen Z, et al. Interactive video instruction improves the quality of dispatcher-assisted chest compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation in simulated cardiac arrests. Crit Care Med. 2009;37:490-5 pubmed publisher
    ..The benefit was achieved mainly through real-time feedback. ..

More Information


  1. Bohm K, Vaillancourt C, Charette M, Dunford J, Castren M. In patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, does the provision of dispatch cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructions as opposed to no instructions improve outcome: a systematic review of the literature. Resuscitation. 2011;82:1490-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Since it has been demonstrated that such instructions can improve bystander CPR rates, it is reasonable to recommend they should be provided to all callers reporting a victim in cardiac arrest. ..
  2. Langhelle A, Lossius H, Silfvast T, Bjornsson H, Lippert F, Ersson A, et al. International EMS Systems: the Nordic countries. Resuscitation. 2004;61:9-21 pubmed
  3. Shah M, Bishop P, Lerner E, Fairbanks R, Davis E. Validation of using EMS dispatch codes to identify low-acuity patients. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2005;9:24-31 pubmed
    ..This study prospectively validates 11 EMS dispatch codes as being associated with low-acuity patients. These codes could be used to triage EMS patients based on dispatch information. ..
  4. Rosamond W, Evenson K, Schroeder E, Morris D, Johnson A, Brice J. Calling emergency medical services for acute stroke: a study of 9-1-1 tapes. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2005;9:19-23 pubmed
    ..Nevertheless, because of the symptoms reported during the calls, the majority of cases are treated as high priority by telecommunicators. ..
  5. Vaillancourt C, Verma A, Trickett J, Crete D, Beaudoin T, Nesbitt L, et al. Evaluating the effectiveness of dispatch-assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructions. Acad Emerg Med. 2007;14:877-83 pubmed
    ..Agonal breathing occurred frequently and had a negative impact on the recognition of CA. There were long time intervals between call initiation and diagnosis of CA and during mouth-to-mouth ventilation instructions. ..
  6. Johnsen E, Bolle S. To see or not to see--better dispatcher-assisted CPR with video-calls? A qualitative study based on simulated trials. Resuscitation. 2008;78:320-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Video communication can improve the dispatchers' understanding of the rescuer's situation, and the assistance they provide. ..
  7. Kuisma M, Boyd J, Väyrynen T, Repo J, Nousila Wiik M, Holmström P. Emergency call processing and survival from out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation. Resuscitation. 2005;67:89-93 pubmed
    ..Giving telephone guided CPR instructions should be promoted as they influence the outcome. Further studies are needed to determine optimal call processing times. ..
  8. Hurwitz A, Brice J, Overby B, Evenson K. Directed use of the Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale by laypersons. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2005;9:292-6 pubmed
  9. Roppolo L, Westfall A, Pepe P, Nobel L, Cowan J, Kay J, et al. Dispatcher assessments for agonal breathing improve detection of cardiac arrest. Resuscitation. 2009;80:769-72 pubmed publisher
    ..9% before vs. 71.5% afterward, p=0.006). Introduction of a new 9-1-1 dispatcher assessment protocol to assess for the presence of agonal respirations can significantly increase the detection cardiac arrest over the telephone. ..
  10. Porter E. Wearing and using personal emergency respone system buttons. J Gerontol Nurs. 2005;31:26-33 pubmed
    ..The variations in the experiences of the women in this small sample warrant further research and individualized interventions to enhance consistent use of the PERS by frail older adults. ..
  11. Maatta T, Kuisma M, Vayrynen T, Nousila Wiik M, Porthan K, Boyd J, et al. Fusion of dispatching centres into one entity: effects on performance. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2010;54:689-95 pubmed publisher
    ..The accuracy of risk assessment was not affected. Evidence-based data should be the basis for the future as dispatching centre processes are shown to be vulnerable during organisational reforms. ..
  12. Rajajee V, Saver J. Prehospital care of the acute stroke patient. Tech Vasc Interv Radiol. 2005;8:74-80 pubmed
    ..Finally, improved stroke recognition in the field has led investigators to study in the field treatment of stroke patients with neuroprotective agents. The potential impact of this on future of stroke treatment will be discussed. ..
  13. Mosley I, Nicol M, Donnan G, Patrick I, Dewey H. Stroke symptoms and the decision to call for an ambulance. Stroke. 2007;38:361-6 pubmed
    ..Fewer than half the calls were made within 1 hour from symptom onset. Interventions are needed to more strongly link stroke recognition to immediate action and increase the number of stroke patients eligible for acute treatment. ..
  14. Mann W, Belchior P, Tomita M, Kemp B. Use of personal emergency response systems by older individuals with disabilities. Assist Technol. 2005;17:82-8 pubmed
    ..This study found that, while PERSs provide benefits for many elders, there appear to be many older persons who could benefit who do not have one. Only 16% of participants in this study, all of whom had disabilities, used a PERS. ..
  15. Kawakami C, Ohshige K, Kubota K, Tochikubo O. Influence of socioeconomic factors on medically unnecessary ambulance calls. BMC Health Serv Res. 2007;7:120 pubmed
    ..It was estimated that unnecessary ambulance use is increased approximately 10% to 20% by socioeconomic factors. ..
  16. Flynn J, Archer F, Morgans A. Sensitivity and specificity of the medical priority dispatch system in detecting cardiac arrest emergency calls in Melbourne. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2006;21:72-6 pubmed
    ..This study provides an objective and comprehensive measurement of the accuracy of MPDS cardiac-arrest detection in Melbourne, as well as providing a baseline for comparison with subsequent changes to the MPDS. ..
  17. DuBard C, Garrett J, Gizlice Z. Effect of language on heart attack and stroke awareness among U.S. Hispanics. Am J Prev Med. 2006;30:189-96 pubmed
    ..This highlights the need for educational intervention about cardiovascular emergencies targeted to Spanish-speaking communities. ..
  18. Yang C, Wang H, Chiang W, Chang W, Yen Z, Chen S, et al. Impact of adding video communication to dispatch instructions on the quality of rescue breathing in simulated cardiac arrests--a randomized controlled study. Resuscitation. 2008;78:327-32 pubmed publisher
    ..01). Adding video communication to dispatch instructions improved the quality of bystander rescue breathing, including higher proportion of airway opened, and larger volume of ventilation delivered, in simulated cardiac arrests. ..
  19. Berdowski J, Beekhuis F, Zwinderman A, Tijssen J, Koster R. Importance of the first link: description and recognition of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in an emergency call. Circulation. 2009;119:2096-102 pubmed publisher
    ..8 to 9.7). Not recognizing a cardiac arrest during emergency calls decreases survival. Spontaneous words that the caller uses to describe the patient may aid in faster and better recognition of a cardiac arrest. ..
  20. Studnek J, Thestrup L, Blackwell T, Bagwell B. Utilization of prehospital dispatch protocols to identify low-acuity patients. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2012;16:204-9 pubmed publisher
    ..2%) requiring an ICU admission. This study identified a method for classifying patients during the dispatch period as low-acuity while attempting to ensure that those individuals received the medical care that they needed. ..
  21. Fogle C, Oser C, Troutman T, McNamara M, Williamson A, Keller M, et al. Public education strategies to increase awareness of stroke warning signs and the need to call 911. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2008;14:e17-22 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings suggest that a high-intensity public education campaign can increase community awareness of the warning signs for stroke and the need to call 911. ..
  22. Bohm K, Rosenqvist M, Hollenberg J, Biber B, Engerström L, Svensson L. Dispatcher-assisted telephone-guided cardiopulmonary resuscitation: an underused lifesaving system. Eur J Emerg Med. 2007;14:256-9 pubmed
    ..Signs of breathing (agonal breathing) are often mistaken for normal breathing and are a cause of delay in the diagnosis of cardiac arrest. ..
  23. Pooransingh S, Kibble A, Saunders P. Chemical incidents: are we ready in the West Midlands? Testing the communication arrangements of on-call public health doctors. Public Health. 2005;119:67-9 pubmed
  24. Chan T, Killeen J, Griswold W, Lenert L. Information technology and emergency medical care during disasters. Acad Emerg Med. 2004;11:1229-36 pubmed
  25. Harvey L, Woollard M. Outcome of patients identified as dead (beyond resuscitation) at the point of the emergency call. Emerg Med J. 2004;21:367-9 pubmed
    ..Although poor data recovery and a small sample size limited the study, its findings suggest that it is inappropriate to allocate a non-emergency response to 09B01 (obvious death) calls. ..
  26. Schmidt T, Cone D, Mann N. Criteria currently used to evaluate dispatch triage systems: where do they leave us?. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2004;8:126-9 pubmed
    ..This commentary reviews the methods used in the current literature to evaluate dispatch triage systems. ..
  27. Bolle S, Scholl J, Gilbert M. Can video mobile phones improve CPR quality when used for dispatcher assistance during simulated cardiac arrest?. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2009;53:116-20 pubmed publisher
    ..Improved dispatch procedures and training for handling video calls require further investigation. ..
  28. Bolle S, Johnsen E, Gilbert M. Video calls for dispatcher-assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation can improve the confidence of lay rescuers--surveys after simulated cardiac arrest. J Telemed Telecare. 2011;17:88-92 pubmed publisher
    ..0002). We found that visual contact and supervision through video calls improved rescuers' confidence in stressful emergencies...
  29. Reilly M. Accuracy of a priority medical dispatch system in dispatching cardiac emergencies in a suburban community. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2006;21:77-81 pubmed
    ..Future studies should be conducted to determine what level (in any) of over-triage is appropriate in EMS systems using a MPD system. ..
  30. Van Vleet L, Hubble M. Time to first compression using Medical Priority Dispatch System compression-first dispatcher-assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation protocols. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2012;16:242-50 pubmed publisher
    ..Efforts should continue to focus on improving this key, and modifiable, determinant of cardiac arrest survival. ..
  31. Clawson J, Olola C, Heward A, Scott G, Patterson B. Accuracy of emergency medical dispatchers' subjective ability to identify when higher dispatch levels are warranted over a Medical Priority Dispatch System automated protocol's recommended coding based on paramedic outcome data. Emerg Med J. 2007;24:560-3 pubmed
    ..This further strengthens the concept that automated, protocol-based call taking is more accurate and consistent than the subjective, anecdotal or experience-based determinations made by individual EMDs. ..
  32. Neely K, Norton R, Schmidt T. The strength of specific EMS dispatcher questions for identifying patients with important clinical field findings. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2000;4:322-6 pubmed
    ..Otherwise, in this sample, caller answers to currently asked questions do not appear useful if the goal is to identify at dispatch those without an ICFF. ..
  33. Meron G, Frantz O, Sterz F, Mullner M, Kaff A, Laggner A. Analysing calls by lay persons reporting cardiac arrest. Resuscitation. 1996;32:23-6 pubmed
    ..We conclude that in Vienna the setting and location of arrest will impose few problems on the performance of bystander-cardio-pulmonary resuscitation using pre-arrival instructions given by dispatchers. ..
  34. Carter W, Eisenberg M, Hallstrom A, Schaeffer S. Development and implementation of emergency CPR instruction via telephone. Ann Emerg Med. 1984;13:695-700 pubmed
    ..The specific words used in the message directly determined adequacy of performance, and resulted in significantly better CPR performance than did impromptu instruction offered by professional dispatchers (P less than or equal to .02). ..
  35. Victor C, Peacock J, Chazot C, Walsh S, Holmes D. Who calls 999 and why? A survey of the emergency workload of the London Ambulance Service. J Accid Emerg Med. 1999;16:174-8 pubmed
    ..More research is required to clarify why people contact the 999 service for non-emergency incidents and also to establish the views of GPs and other agencies as to the role and function of the IAS. ..
  36. Porter E. Moments of apprehension in the midst of a certainty: some frail older widows' lives with a personal emergency response system. Qual Health Res. 2003;13:1311-23 pubmed
    ..quot; The findings are a basis for considering the potential influences of having a PERS on elders' well-being. ..
  37. Shah M, Bishop P, Lerner E, Czapranski T, Davis E. Derivation of emergency medical services dispatch codes associated with low-acuity patients. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2003;7:434-9 pubmed
    ..Future studies are needed to prospectively validate that these codes do represent low-acuity patients. ..
  38. Swor R, Jackson R, Compton S, Domeier R, Zalenski R, Honeycutt L, et al. Cardiac arrest in private locations: different strategies are needed to improve outcome. Resuscitation. 2003;58:171-6 pubmed
    ..Many important characteristics of cardiac arrest patients and the bystander differ in public versus private locations. Fundamentally different strategies are needed to improve survival from these events. ..
  39. Hallstrom A, Cobb L, Johnson E, Copass M. Dispatcher assisted CPR: implementation and potential benefit. A 12-year study. Resuscitation. 2003;57:123-9 pubmed
    ..In the city of Seattle, some 29.9% of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims who received ACLS had the potential to benefit from dispatcher assisted CPR. ..
  40. Dorph E, Wik L, Steen P. Dispatcher-assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation. An evaluation of efficacy amongst elderly. Resuscitation. 2003;56:265-73 pubmed
    ..In both groups the overall CPR performance was of very poor quality, and unlikely to have affected outcome in a real situation. Other telephone assisted CPR scripts should be tested in this potential bystander group. ..
  41. Bång A, Herlitz J, Martinell S. Interaction between emergency medical dispatcher and caller in suspected out-of-hospital cardiac arrest calls with focus on agonal breathing. A review of 100 tape recordings of true cardiac arrest cases. Resuscitation. 2003;56:25-34 pubmed
    ..Patients with a combination of unconsciousness and agonal breathing should be offered dispatcher-assisted CPR instruction. This might improve survival in out-of hospital cardiac arrest. ..
  42. Marks P, Daniel T, Afolabi O, Spiers G, Nguyen Van Tam J. Emergency (999) calls to the ambulance service that do not result in the patient being transported to hospital: an epidemiological study. Emerg Med J. 2002;19:449-52 pubmed
    ..More research is required to determine whether AMPDS prioritisation can reliably and safely identify 999 calls where an alternative to an emergency ambulance would be a more appropriate response. ..
  43. Snooks H, Williams S, Crouch R, Foster T, Hartley Sharpe C, Dale J. NHS emergency response to 999 calls: alternatives for cases that are neither life threatening nor serious. BMJ. 2002;325:330-3 pubmed
  44. Swor R, Jackson R, Walters B, Rivera E, Chu K. Impact of lay responder actions on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest outcome. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2000;4:38-42 pubmed
    ..The LR estimates of delay to 911 call were not associated with increased mortality. The authors identified no patient or witness characteristics that were associated with a delay to calling 911 first. ..
  45. Roccaforte J. The World Trade Center attack. Observations from New York's Bellevue Hospital. Crit Care. 2001;5:307-9 pubmed
    ..5 miles (4 km) from the site of the attack. These first-hand observations and this analysis may aid in future preparations. Key issues described relate to communication, organization, injuries treated, staffing, and logistics. ..
  46. Coxon A, Cropley M, Schofield P, Start K, Horsfield C, Quinn T. 'You're never making just one decision': exploring the lived experiences of ambulance Emergency Operations Centre personnel. Emerg Med J. 2016;33:645-51 pubmed publisher
  47. Powers P, Llewellyn A, Greene C, Natarajan P. Readers' perspective. Government funding of information technology tools for first responders needs to be a higher priority. Do you agree or disagree?. Health Data Manag. 2007;15:8 pubmed
  48. Akhtar N, Field R, Greenwood L, Davies R, Woolley S, Cooke M, et al. Quality of in-hospital cardiac arrest calls: a prospective observational study. BMJ Qual Saf. 2012;21:184-90 pubmed publisher
    ..The attempt to differentiate between ME and CA is a source of confusion. A single clinical emergency response for CA and ME calls may provide a more focused and timely emergency response. ..
  49. Meischke H, Taylor V, Calhoun R, Liu Q, Sos C, Tu S, et al. Preparedness for cardiac emergencies among Cambodians with limited English proficiency. J Community Health. 2012;37:176-80 pubmed publisher
    ..This suggests that greater efforts need to be made to reach the most linguistically-isolated communities (those with little or no English) with emergency information in Khmer. ..
  50. Maggiore W. Priority medical dispatch is the standard of care. JEMS. 2004;29:160-1 pubmed
  51. Talloch R. Emergency call confusion. Resuscitation. 2004;63:345 pubmed
  52. Lockey D, Mackenzie R, Redhead J, Wise D, Harris T, Weaver A, et al. London bombings July 2005: the immediate pre-hospital medical response. Resuscitation. 2005;66:ix-xii pubmed
    ..From the perspective of the London Helicopter Emergency Medical Service the deployment, difficulties on scene and the initial lessons learned are discussed. ..
  53. Walsh D, Christen H. More than just semantics. JEMS. 2005;30:18 pubmed