How Implementation of Innovative Ways during COVID-19 Pandemic Can Improve Collaboration between Hospitals and Ambulance Services
Ambulances offer emergency treatment and are primarily given en-route to the hospitals for people with, most often than not, a terminal condition. There are many innovative ways that can help improve the collaboration between hospitals and ambulance services. The adoption of these ways will help in providing proper treatment for COVID-19 affected patients during emergency. Moreover, the ambulance services are huge in demand during the pandemic crisis, which is progressively impacting the global market.
The National Health Service (NHS) provides universal healthcare for patients across an extensive range of settings and services, but the COVID-19 pandemic has already led to rapid changes in how people are using these healthcare services. When resuscitating critical and COVID-19 patients, the ambulances take patients from their homes, to the Emergency Department (ED), and ICU within a few hours. It can be imagined the areas of different departments the ambulance has to go through to take the critical patients to the different departments. Thus, to improve emergence care within this chain, it is crucial for hospitals to work together with the ambulance services.
Here are 5 ways to improve collaboration between ambulance services and hospitals during this COVID-19 pandemic.
- Share Education
One of the best ways to improve quality of care is learning from each other. The ambulance services personnel is keen to learn what the diagnostic or therapeutic processes the patients they take to the hospitals will be going through. Similarly, the hospital staff will be able to understand their patients in a better way when they are aware of what has happened in the pre-hospital phase. These goals can be met during coronavirus pandemic with different education activities that have been implemented in the past. For example, a theme-evening is organized by the Amsterdam-based Academic Medical Center (AMC), twice a year, which is an evening filling conference with a central theme. At this evening, the speakers present different viewpoints in which all phases of emergency care are discussed. Approximately 250-300 people attend these evenings, which also include staff from ambulance services.
- Case Discussions
Case discussions can provide better insights in the chain of acute care of a specific case, here COVID-19. Case discussions give an opportunity to discuss the specific elements such as the decisions made during an emergency. Mostly, these decisions are made in a time-critical setting and it is virtuous to reflect on the arguments at that time. There are certain times when an ‘other decision’ would possibly lead to better for the patient. For instance, various medical center across the globe have multi-trauma case discussions in which 2 multi-trauma cases are discussed. For this discussion, dispatch center, emergency department (ED), ambulance services, anesthesia, surgery, ICU, etc. are all invited. At most times, the people who treated the trauma patient are all present, including the ambulance crew. The discussions are carried out amongst the skilled professionals to tackle the challenges in the future. Same can be done in the pandemic crisis to provide COVID-19 affected patients with necessary & proper treatment during ambulance services.
In both in- and pre-hospital emergency care, much is still unknown. A good quality research to increase knowledge on how to improve efficiency for our patients can be helpful. It is seen that, there is more research activity in hospitals compared to ambulance services. However, the challenges faced in the pre-hospital setting are also necessary to be studied, which can subsequently help in improving treatment in the hospitals as well. Exchanging thoughts and arguments to get together are vital on research to improve collaboration. This can prove very rewarding for researchers to conduct a study and to give better care of patients in an emergency such as the COVID-19 crisis.
Collaborating in innovation can intensely amplify the impact on emergency care. For instance, a digital system in which the hospitals can show the status of their emergence department can help ambulance services providers to make the decision to which hospital they should go to. Besides, having a virtual pre-hospital waiting room is beneficial as it can provide insights on how many patients will receive help in emergency departments. This is just one innovative example, which can help in managing the COVID-19 patients.
- Contact Persons
Co-operation is efficient when you know each other. Constructive dialogues can be facilitated with regular meeting with a contact person on how to improve the care of the patients. This not only includes persons at management levels, but also the operational levels for the practical stuff. For instance, it can be helpful for an ambulance services provider to have a consultant (contact person) in the various departments to arrange definite questions related certain groups of patients such as stroke or ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients.
Thus, there are many ways to improve collaboration between the hospital and ambulance services, which can help to provide proper and timely treatment to COVID-19 affected patients. Adopting these ways in ambulance services and hospitals can have a positive impact on patient outcomes in the pandemic as well as in the near future.
COVID-19 Impact and Forecast Analysis of Ambulance Services Market
According to the report published by Research Dive, the COVID-19 pandemic has positively impacted the global ambulance services market . This is mainly because of the growing need for ambulance services for COVID-19 affected patients coupled with the constantly increasing cases of coronavirus across the globe. However, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the semi-government and governmental bodies are highly focusing on the deployment of ambulance services. For instance, according to a published newsletter in India, in July 2020, a Delhi-based NGO has made an announcement of launching the Wishing & Blessings (WB) Ambulances project in partnership with the Delhi government to provide services to the underprivileged COVID-19 patients.
Furthermore, the global market is estimated to sustain its positive growth even after the pandemic owing to the growing adoption of smart ambulances. The national health services and the private health worldwide are heavily spending on innovative technology to improve the efficacy of the experience of patients prior to hospital admission, which is expected to propel the market growth after COVID-19 pandemic.
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