Technological Innovations and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the Ashanti Region: An Evaluation of the National Ambulance Service’s Support to Referral Centres

Tetteh, G. K., Nyame, G., Boateng, F. O.


The practice of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) encompasses the pre-hospital and in-hospital triage, resuscitation, initial assessment and management of undifferentiated urgent and emergency cases until discharge or transfer to the care of another physician or health care professional. This involves the development and deployment of pre-hospital and in-hospital emergency medical systems for rescue processes. Thus, the goal of effective EMS is to provide emergency medical care to all who need it. However, many factors determine the quality of EMS, and that the response time is an important EMS industry benchmark. The study assesses the level of technological innovations as a means of providing quality pre-hospital care to patients in times of emergencies and the acceptance of such practices by Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) – a referral centre. All the 16 National Ambulance Service (NAS) centres in the Ashanti Region in Ghana were considered for the study, with only 93 personnel manning these stations and hence the difficulty for them to attend to concurrent cases of emergencies. Questionnaires were administered on the perceptions and opinions of patients/relatives, doctors and nurses as well as staff of the 16 ambulance service centres about EMS delivery. Systematic random sampling was used to select patients/relatives and ambulance service staff whilst convenience sampling was used to select individuals from the rest of the categories. The use of fixed telephone lines and mobile phones were the primary tools for communication. For quality evidence-based EMS practices, NAS lacked the integration of GIS, GPS and GSM technologies including mobile tablet PCs and software solution to properly discharge their duties.

Keywords: Emergency Medical Services (EMS), referral center, pre-hospital and in-hospital, National

Ambulance Service (NAS), innovative technologies, time, ‘golden hour’, Mobile Data Terminal (MDT)

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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