Healthcare Service Providers’ Perspective on Provision of Emergency Medical Services in Security Zones: A Qualitative Study
Keywords:emergency medical services, security zones, service providers’ perspectives, qualitative research
Objective:To explore healthcare service providers’ perspective on the provision of emergency
medical services (EMS) in security zones.
Design: Qualitative research.
Methodology: Sixty-nine participants were recruited through purposive sampling. They were divided into three groups: 9 administrators, 19 healthcare staff and emergency personnel members, and 41 trained volunteers who were members of the local emergency network in security zones. Data were collected during May to July 2019 through interviews and focus group discussions, using a set of questions pre-developed based on the National EMS Plan Framework. The data were analysed using the content analysis method.
Results: The study identifed four aspects of security-zone trauma management that differed signifcantly from those of standard emergency medical procedure. Firstly, in the prevention phase, every security zone had a community-engaged vigilance and prevention system in place, with the residents’ lifestyle adjusted to minimise risks. Secondly, during the pre-hospital care, military or police directives and orders were issued to ensure speed and accuracy in coping with the situation, in using proper resources, and in providing express air-ambulance service. Thirdly, during the emergency ward’s care, the priority was on establishing a system of consultation with medical specialists via telecommunications systems and on enhancing healthcare personnel’s potential to provide trauma patients with ongoing care. Fourthly, during the referral phase, the primary emphasis was on ensuring safe zones and rapid transfer. Despite occasional obstacles, provision
of emergency services in security zones still involved collaboration and integration from all stakeholders,
based on the country’s principle of seamless emergency service provision.
Recommendations: Provision of integrated emergency services in security zones was different
from that in other areas. In security zones, the services had to be provided in a comprehensive manner and in conjunction with other local sectors, especially the police and the military, for effcient coordination, command, and team-working. However, it is recommended that emergency staff’s specialised competency be enhanced using proper technologies. Also, it is necessary that local communities’ space-oriented resources management potential be improved, to maintain self-reliance.
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