Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Questions (249)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

249. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health in view of the fact that the Health Information and Quality Authority does not receive or publish key performance indicators on a regional basis regarding the delivery of the ambulance service, and this means that the management of the service cannot see or respond to regional variances in service provision, if he will instruct HIQA to collect and publish these KPIs. [41272/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) published the Pre-hospital Emergency Care Key Performance Indicators for Emergency Response Time in October 2012. They developed a set of key performance indicators (KPIs), which classify 112/999 emergency calls by clinical status. Clinical Status 1 ECHO calls involve life-threatening emergencies of cardiac or respiratory origin. Clinical Status 1 DELTA calls involve life-threatening emergencies of other than cardiac or respiratory origin. The HIQA target for patient-carrying vehicles is to meet the Clinical Status 1 ECHO and DELTA incident response time of 18 minutes 59 seconds in 85% of cases.

It is acknowledged that response-time indicators should not be used in isolation as a means of evaluating of pre-hospital emergency service delivery. Following a review of the validity of time-based KPIs for clinical status data, and in line with international views, it is considered that clinical outcome indicators would be more appropriate. For example, there may be significant regional variations in response times because of the influence of differing geographic and demographic factors in different areas, while outcomes may be similar. Work is now in progress on the development of clinical outcome indicators for pre-hospital emergency responses.

In relation to the Deputy's query, the HSE publishes monthly performance data, including performance information for pre-hospital emergency response times at national level. This information is collected from data reported at regional level within the National Ambulance Service and is available to management for information and decision-making in relation to local service provision.