Exploring factors influencing time from dispatch to unit availability according to the transport decision in the pre-hospital setting: an exploratory study

Hassan Farhat*, Ahmed Makhlouf, Padarath Gangaram, Kawther El Aifa, Mohamed Chaker Khenissi, Ian Howland, Cyrine Abid, Andre Jones, Ian Howard, Nicholas Castle, Loua Al Shaikh, Moncef Khadhraoui, Imed Gargouri, James Laughton, Guillaume Alinier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Efficient resource distribution is important. Despite extensive research on response timings within ambulance services, nuances of time from unit dispatch to becoming available still need to be explored. This study aimed to identify the determinants of the duration between ambulance dispatch and readiness to respond to the next case according to the patients’ transport decisions. Methods: Time from ambulance dispatch to availability (TDA) analysis according to the patients’ transport decision (Transport versus Non-Transport) was conducted using R-Studio™ for a data set of 93,712 emergency calls managed by a Middle Eastern ambulance service from January to May 2023. Log-transformed Hazard Ratios (HR) were examined across diverse parameters. A Cox regression model was utilised to determine the influence of variables on TDA. Kaplan–Meier curves discerned potential variances in the time elapsed for both cohorts based on demographics and clinical indicators. A competing risk analysis assessed the probabilities of distinct outcomes occurring. Results: The median duration of elapsed TDA was 173 min for the transported patients and 73 min for those not transported. The HR unveiled Significant associations in various demographic variables. The Kaplan–Meier curves revealed variances in TDA across different nationalities and age categories. In the competing risk analysis, the ‘Not Transported’ group demonstrated a higher incidence of prolonged TDA than the ‘Transported’ group at specified time points. Conclusions: Exploring TDA offers a novel perspective on ambulance services’ efficiency. Though promising, the findings necessitate further exploration across diverse settings, ensuring broader applicability. Future research should consider a comprehensive range of variables to fully harness the utility of this period as a metric for healthcare excellence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number77
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes

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