Aim The ambulance service (EMS) and out-of-hours service (OOH) of Capital Region of Copenhagen (EMS Copenhagen) was united January 1st 2014, featuring only two phone numbers to call in case of acute illness or injury: 112 for life threatening conditions, and 1813 for non-urgent conditions. All prehospital access to in-hospital acute care is pre-assessed and guided to the nearest appropriate hospital with least waiting time (capacity controlling). The aim of this study was to describe citizens’ utilisation and satisfaction with the Copenhagen-Model (CM).
Methods Data was delivered by the Emergency Departments (ED) database and the internal database for EMS Copenhagen. Utilization-analysis of OOH and ED components before (2013) and after (2014–2015) implementation of the new structure was examined. Satisfaction-analysis with the CM was evaluated by an external facility April 1st to October 1st (2171 questionnaires – response-rate 36%).
Results The OOH service (1.8 million inhabitants) receives approx. 265 calls/1000 citizens annually. The introduction of the CM resulted in a decrease of contacts to the ED – 5 66 606 contacts in 2013 to 5 16 738 and 4 97 389 contacts in 2014 and 2015, respectively (p<0.05). Capacity controlling showed that citizens referred to ED for emergency triage had an average time from call to treatment-start of 62 min (non-urgent 93 min). Approx. 93% of callers to the OOH had a good-very good experience with the service.
Conclusion EMS capacity controlling for non-urgent conditions showed a significant decrease in ED contacts, and has proven successful with 93% of callers having a good-very good experience with the service.
Conflict of interest None declared.
Funding EMS Copenhagen receives centre support from The Laerdal Foundation. The corresponding author has received grants from Trygfonden. Non of these organisations have had any influence on the study.
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