MPDS Reliably Predicts Low Acuity Categorization

Street Science


 
 

Keith Wesley | | Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Review of: Hinchey P, Myers B, Zalkin J, et al: "Low acuity EMS dispatch criteria can reliably identify patients without high-acuity illness or injury." Prehospital Emergency Care. 11(1):42-48, 2007.

The Science

During a six-month period, the authors of this study examined the emergency medical dispatch records of almost 24,000 dispatches. Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) was used to categorize the calls. 2,703 calls were recorded as Alpha (lowest priority) of which 582 were excluded because of missing data. Of the remaining calls, only 21 were felt to have high acuity signs or symptoms by the responding paramedics. Of those, only eight were transported emergently.

They concluded that MPDS reliably predicted low acuity categorization greater than 99% of the time.

The Street

There continues be great debate over the value of priority dispatch systems. Most of the concern centers around missing high acuity calls that are mislabeled as low acuity. This large study provides greater evidence that, when used properly, MPDS is an accurate tool. In fact, after examining the eight patients who had high acuity symptoms and were transported emergently, I could make the argument that emergent transport was of minimal clinical value. None of them received life-saving interventions or medications.

Inefficient use of emergency medical dispatch significantly impacts EMS system resources. Sending ALS crews to care for low acuity patients prevents them from being available for more appropriate patients.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Communications and Dispatch, Research

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

PulsePoint PSA, San Diego

App will allow trained San Diego residents to respond to nearby cardiac arrest c
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

California Beach Lightning Strike MCI

More than a dozen injured in Venice Beach lighting strike.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Item on Iowa Helicopter Helps Save Patient’s Life

Supply of blood recently added to LifeFlight helicopter.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Shooting Inside Pennsylvania Hospital

Early reports of one person dead in Darby hospital.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >