Key performance indicators’ assessment to develop best practices in an Emergency Medical Communication Centre

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Emergency Medical Communication Centre (EMCC) represents a pivotal link in the chain of survival for those requiring rapid response for out-of-hospital medical emergencies. Assessing and grading the performance of EMCCs are warranted as it can affect the health and safety of the served population.


The aim of our work was to describe the activity on an EMCC and to explore the associations between different key performance indicators.


We carried out our prospective observational study in the EMCC of Nantes, France, from 6 June 2011 to 6 June 2015. The EMCC performance was assessed with the following key performance indicators: answered calls, Quality of Service 20 s (QS20), occupation rate and average call duration.


A total of 35 073 h of dispatch activity were analysed. 1 488 998 emergency calls were answered. The emergency call incidence varied slightly from 274 to 284 calls/1000 citizens/year between 2011 and 2015. The median occupation rate was 35% (25–44). QS20 was correlated negatively with the occupation rate (Spearman’s ρ: −0.78). The structural equation model confirmed that the occupation rate was highly correlated with the QS20 (standardized coefficient: −0.89). For an occupation rate of 26%, the target value estimated by our polynomial model, the probability of achieving a QS20 superior or equal to 95% varied between 56 and 84%.


The occupation rate appeared to be the most important factor contributing towards the QS20. Our data will be useful to develop best practices and guidelines in the field of emergency medicine communication centres.

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