Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 20(3) October 2017 : 72-77.doi:10.12927/hcq.2017.25283
Quality Improvement

Going Beyond the 9-1-1 Call – What BC Emergency Health Services is doing to Improve Timely Access to Emergency Care

Kerry Campbell, Jessica Jaiven, Kimberly Banfield, Corinne Begg, Janice Butler and Leanne Thain


British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) uses an internationally recognized Medical Priority Dispatch System to assign appropriate responses to 9-1-1 calls based on patients' clinical acuity. In 2015, 71% of Omega calls (classified as calls involving low acuity injuries) were assigned an ambulance. To better meet patients' needs, BCEHS collaborated with HealthLink BC's Nursing Services (HLBC NS) to audit over 2,000 calls. Based on the results, three Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycles were implemented, yielding a 35% decrease in ambulances assigned and a 173% increase in referrals to HLBC NS to provide more suitable support. Ultimately, the interventions allowed these ambulances to be reallocated to more critical patients.



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