A1 Journal article – refereed

EMS non-conveyance: A safe practice to decrease ED crowding or a threat to patient safety?

List of Authors: Paulin Jani, Kurola Jouni, Koivisto Mari, Iirola Timo

Publication year: 2021

Journal: BMC Emergency Medicine

Journal name in source: BMC emergency medicine

Journal acronym: BMC Emerg Med

Volume number: 21

Issue number: 1

ISSN: 1471-227X

eISSN: 1471-227X

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12873-021-00508-1


Background: The safety of the Emergency Medical Service's (EMS's) non-conveyance decision was evaluated by EMS re-contacts, primary health care or emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalization within 48 h. The secondary outcome was 28-day mortality.

Methods: This cohort study used prospectively collected data on non-conveyed EMS patients from three different regions in Finland between June 1 and November 30, 2018. The Adjusted International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC2) as the reason for care was compared to hospital discharge diagnoses (ICD10). Multivariable logistic regressions were used to determine factors that were independently associated with adverse outcomes. Results are presented with adjusted odds ratios (aORs) together with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Data regarding deceased patients were reviewed by the study group.

Results: Of the non-conveyed EMS patients (n = 11,861), 6.3% re-contacted the EMS, 8.3% attended a primary health care facility, 4.2% went to the ED, 1.6% were hospitalized, and 0.1% died 0-24 h after the EMS mission. The 0-24 h adverse event rate was higher than 24-48 h. After non-conveyance, 32 (0.3%) patients were admitted to an intensive care unit within 24 h. Primary non-urgent EMS mission (aOR 1.49; 95% CI 1.25 to 1.77), EMS arrival at night (aOR 1.82; 95% CI 1.58 to 2.09), ALS unit type vs BLS (aOR 1.43; 95% CI 1.16 to 1.77), rural area (aOR 1.74; 95% CI 1.51 to 1.99), and older patient age (aOR 1.41; 95% CI 1.20 to 1.66) were associated with subsequent primary health care visits (0-24 h).

Conclusions: Four in five non-conveyed patients did not have any re-contact in follow-up period. EMS non-conveyance seems to be a relatively safe method of focusing ED resources and avoiding ED crowding.

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Last updated on 2021-15-10 at 08:56