Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) refers to a system that enhances services provided by Public Safety Answering Point call takers, which allows the call taker to quickly narrow down the caller’s type of medical or trauma situation, so as to better dispatch emergency services, and provide quality instruction to the caller before help arrives. It’s also required by the Massachusetts State 911 Department in order to qualify communities for grant funding. Simply, it’s just a great idea that helps us save more lives. UMass Memorial’s EMS Communications Center provides EMD service to the City of Worcester, and the Towns of Shrewsbury, Westborough, and Leicester Massachusetts.
The most important part of EMD involves the triage of incoming calls, providing expert systematized caller interrogation, using the script provided by the EMD protocol (NAED) system, in order to determine the severity of the patient’s illness or injury so that the most appropriate type of response resource may be expedited. Our skilled communications specialists use interpersonal and crisis management skills to sort through various distractions such as anxious or angry callers, or those who are very upset and cannot communicate clearly, and extracting the necessary information. It is the job of the communications specialist to analyze the information and ensure that it leads to the right resource being sent to the patient in the shortest appropriate time. This requires a constant level of awareness of the location and status of each resource, so that the closest available and appropriate resource may be sent to each call.
UMass Memorial’s EMS Communications Center uses the EMD protocols developed by the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch (NAED). The NAED is a non-profit standard-setting organization promoting safe and effective emergency dispatch services world-wide. Comprised of three allied Academies for medical, fire and police dispatching, the NAED supports first-responder related research, unified protocol application, legislation for emergency call center regulation, and strengthening the emergency dispatch community through education, certification, and accreditation.
Our ProQA Dispatch Software integrates the power of the NAED Protocols with critical computer technologies. It helps our communications specialists move smoothly through Case Entry and Key Questioning. It assists them in quickly determining the appropriate priority for each case and clearly displays the response configuration specifically assigned to the code by local agency authorities. ProQA then guides dispatchers in providing all relevant Post-Dispatch and Pre-Arrival Instructions, as well as important case completion information.