Outpatient care in acute and prehospital emergency medicine by emergency medical and patient transport service over a 10-year period: a retrospective study based on dispatch data from a German emergency medical dispatch centre (OFF-RESCUE)

  • Background: The number of operations by the German emergency medical service almost doubled between 1994 and 2016. The associated expenses increased by 380% in a similar period. Operations with treatment on-site, which retrospectively proved to be misallocated (OFF-Missions), have a substantial proportion of the assignment of the emergency medical service (EMS). Besides OFF-Missions, operations with patient transport play a dominant role (named as ON-Missions). The aim of this study is to work out the medical and economic relevance of both operation types. Methods: This analysis examined N = 819,780 missions of the EMS and patient transport service (PTS) in the catchment area of the emergency medical dispatch centre (EMDC) Bad Kreuznach over the period from 01/01/2007 to 12/31/2016 in terms of triage and disposition, urban-rural distribution, duration of operations and economic relevance (p < .01). Results: 53.4% of ON-Missions are triaged with the indication non-life-threatening patient transport; however, 63.7% are processed by the devices of the EMS. Within the OFF-Mission cohort, 78.2 and 85.8% are triaged or dispatched for the EMS. 74% of all ON-Missions are located in urban areas, 26% in rural areas; 81.3% of rural operations are performed by the EMS. 66% of OFF-Missions are in cities. 93.2% of the remaining 34% of operations in rural locations are also performed by the EMS. The odds for both ON- and OFF-Missions in rural areas are significantly higher than for PTS (ORON 3.6, 95% CI 3.21–3.30; OROFF 3.18, 95% CI 3.04–3.32). OFF-Missions last 47.2 min (SD 42.3; CI 46.9–47.4), while ON-Missions are processed after 79.7 min on average (SD 47.6; CI 79.6–79.9). ON-Missions generated a turnover of more than € 114 million, while OFF-Missions made a loss of almost € 13 million. Conclusions: This study particularly highlights the increasing utilization of emergency devices; especially in OFF-Missions, the resources of the EMS have a higher number of operations than PTS. OFF-Missions cause immensely high costs due to misallocations from an economic point of view. Appropriate patient management appears necessary from both medical and economic perspective, which requires multiple solution approaches.

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Author:Marc Samir SchehadatORCiDGND, Guido SchererGND, Jan David Alexander GronebergORCiDGND, Manfred KapsGND, Michael Hans Karl BendelsORCiD
Parent Title (English):BMC emergency medicine
Publisher:BioMed Central
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/03/09
Date of first Publication:2021/03/09
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/11/27
Page Number:10
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International