Views of emergency care providers about factors that extend on-scene time intervals

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: Introduction: Rapid response, patient care and transportation remain recognised goals of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Spending more time on-scene may delay the initiation of definitive care interventions. This study focused on describing the perceptions of a sample of emergency care providers regarding the impact of environmental, clinical and systemic factors with respect to their on-scene time intervals. Method: The study was descriptive and prospective in nature making use of a self-designed questionnaire. Basic descriptive methods were used during the analysis of the participants’ responses to 16 close-ended questions. A further review of the limited narrative elicited by two open-ended questions allowed for the reporting of additional views and opinions. Results: Thirty-three (92%) participants agreed that extended time on-scene may negatively affect patient outcome. Twenty-three (64%) agreed that spending longer than 20 min on-scene may be considered excessive for medical emergencies and 28 (77%) felt the same for trauma cases. Respondents felt that many of the environmental, clinical and systemic factors mentioned in the questionnaire do have the potential to extend on-scene time intervals. The factors that were seen to have the greatest effect included waiting for fire, rescue and police services, patient acuity, the use of an air ambulance, patient extrication and multi-casualty incidents. Discussion: There are a number of environmental, clinical and systemic factors that emergency care providers indicate have the potential to extend on-scene time intervals. Acknowledging and attempting to address these factors is important for EMS as limiting the time spent on-scene is not only clinically desirable but may also lead to improved efficiency and availability of resources.