S.C. EMS reviews success of nurse call center

The year-long pilot was designed to reduce unnecessary ambulance transports; out of 1,506 calls, 380 people wound up not going to the ER

Expert Analysis: 911 phone triage can put EMS resources were most needed
By Arthur Hsieh


If you’ve been in the business for any length of time, you probably have a story that could come straight out of “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” file.

Indeed, I have evaluated the 2 a.m. call for the toe pain that had been going on for five years, the pebble lodged in someone’s ear, and the request for a hospital transport because it was down the block from the individual’s favorite liquor store.

These episodes would be highly amusing, except for the fact that such events tie up precious EMS resources and prevent a more timely response to more urgent cases. Read more 


Greenville Online

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Hiccups. Hangovers. Prescription refills. In the past year, the nearly 70,000 calls for help to Greenville County EMS included non-emergencies like these.

But instead of dispatching an ambulance and paramedics, these 911 calls were diverted to a nurse who arranged for help in a more appropriate health care setting.

It's part of a pilot program designed to reduce unnecessary ambulance transports and costly ER visits, said Dr. Angelo Sinopoli, chief medical officer at Greenville Health System.

Read full story: EMS 911 calls screened to weed out non-emergencies

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