Feasibility of a computer-assisted feedback system between dispatch centre and ambulances

Eur J Emerg Med. 2011 Jun;18(3):143-7. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e328341edac.


Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility of a newly developed computer-assisted feedback system between dispatch centre and ambulances in Stockholm, Sweden.

Methods: A computer-assisted feedback system based on a Finnish model was designed to fit the Swedish emergency medical system. Feedback codes were identified and divided into three categories; assessment of patients' primary condition when ambulance arrives at scene, no transport by the ambulance and level of priority. Two ambulances and one emergency medical communication centre (EMCC) in Stockholm participated in the study. A sample of 530 feedback codes sent through the computer-assisted feedback system was reviewed. The information on the ambulance medical records was compared with the feedback codes used and 240 assignments were further analyzed.

Results: The used feedback codes sent from ambulance to EMCC were correct in 92% of the assignments. The most commonly used feedback code sent to the emergency medical dispatchers was 'agree with the dispatchers' assessment'. In addition, in 160 assignments there was a mismatch between emergency medical dispatchers and ambulance nurse assessments.

Conclusion: Our results have shown a high agreement between medical dispatchers and ambulance nurse assessment. The feasibility of the feedback codes seems to be acceptable based on the small margin of error. The computer-assisted feedback system may, when used on a daily basis, make it possible for the medical dispatchers to receive feedback in a structural way. The EMCC organization can directly evaluate any changes in the assessment protocol by structured feedback sent from the ambulance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Ambulances / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Emergency Medical Service Communication Systems / organization & administration*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Feedback*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Sweden