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Ambulance dispatch versus general practitioner home visit for highly urgent out-of-hours primary care


Plat, Fredrik M; Peters, Yvonne A S; Loots, Feike J; de Groot, Corline J A; Eckhardt, Thomas; Keizer, Ellen; Giesen, Paul (2018). Ambulance dispatch versus general practitioner home visit for highly urgent out-of-hours primary care. Family Practice, 35(4):440-445.

Abstract

Background Patients with life-threatening conditions who contact out-of-hours primary care either receive a home visit from a GP of a GP cooperative (GPC) or are handed over to the ambulance service.
Objective The objective of this study was to determine whether highly urgent visits, after a call to the GPC, are delivered by the most appropriate healthcare provider: GPC or ambulance service.
Methods We performed a cross-sectional study using patient record data from a GPC and ambulance service in an urban district in The Netherlands. During a 21-month period, all calls triaged as life-threatening (U1) to the GPCs were included. The decision to send an ambulance or not was made by the triage nurse following a protocolized triage process. Retrospectively, the most appropriate care was judged by the patient's own GP, using a questionnaire.
Results Patient and care characteristics from 1081 patients were gathered: 401 GPC visits, 570 ambulance responses and 110 with both ambulance and GPC deployment. In 598 of 1081 (55.3%) cases, questionnaires were returned by the patients' own GP. About 40% of all visits could have been carried out with a lower urgency in retrospect, and almost half of all visits should have received a different type of care or different provider. In case of ambulance response, 60.7% concerned chest pain.
Conclusion Research should be done on the process of triage and allocation of care to optimize labelling complaints with the appropriate urgency and to deploy the appropriate healthcare provider, especially for patients with chest pain.

Abstract

Background Patients with life-threatening conditions who contact out-of-hours primary care either receive a home visit from a GP of a GP cooperative (GPC) or are handed over to the ambulance service.
Objective The objective of this study was to determine whether highly urgent visits, after a call to the GPC, are delivered by the most appropriate healthcare provider: GPC or ambulance service.
Methods We performed a cross-sectional study using patient record data from a GPC and ambulance service in an urban district in The Netherlands. During a 21-month period, all calls triaged as life-threatening (U1) to the GPCs were included. The decision to send an ambulance or not was made by the triage nurse following a protocolized triage process. Retrospectively, the most appropriate care was judged by the patient's own GP, using a questionnaire.
Results Patient and care characteristics from 1081 patients were gathered: 401 GPC visits, 570 ambulance responses and 110 with both ambulance and GPC deployment. In 598 of 1081 (55.3%) cases, questionnaires were returned by the patients' own GP. About 40% of all visits could have been carried out with a lower urgency in retrospect, and almost half of all visits should have received a different type of care or different provider. In case of ambulance response, 60.7% concerned chest pain.
Conclusion Research should be done on the process of triage and allocation of care to optimize labelling complaints with the appropriate urgency and to deploy the appropriate healthcare provider, especially for patients with chest pain.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Family Practice
Language:Dutch
Date:23 July 2018
Deposited On:30 Aug 2018 08:56
Last Modified:30 Aug 2018 08:57
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0263-2136
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/fampra/cmx121
PubMed ID:29272417

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