Managing the impact of growing low-acuity demand on ambulance services

2018-04-08T23:11:40Z (GMT) by KATHRYN JEAN EASTWOOD
Increasing demand for emergency ambulances places a substantial burden on ambulance services. Many cases are low-acuity, having no urgent clinical need for paramedic treatment. Ambulance Victoria implemented a secondary telephone triage services to divert low-acuity cases away from emergency ambulances to more appropriate care. This research found this ‘Referral Service’ has had a substantial impact upon emergency operations, referring over 70% of the cases it managed away from emergency ambulances. Some cases are returned to emergency ambulances or referred to the emergency department and these triage decisions were found to be appropriate. Finally, patient characteristics that could inform better care pathways were identified, that could provide patients with care that better suits their needs whilst reducing emergency ambulance workloads.