Determining and Prioritizing the Organizational Determinants of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Iran
Background: Improving the organization of pre-hospital emergency to provide emergency medical services (EMS), as a part of health system, plays an important role in timely and properly response to incidents, as well as, reducing mortalities and disabilities.
Objective: This study was conducted to determine the organizational determinants of emergency medical services in Iran and analyze their relationship and prioritize them.
Materials and Methods: The present study is kind of descriptive and cross-sectional study that has been conducted on the first half of 2010 using DEMATEL method (a group decision-making technique). Required data were collected using a questionnaire from a sample of 30 Iranian experts in pre-hospital emergency, who were selected using available sampling method.
Results: The determinants of establishing an independent EMS organization as a policy maker and observer organization, providing services through public organizations such as Emergency 115, private organizations partnership in pre-hospital emergency system, and integrating pre-hospital and hospital emergency under single supervision and management were determined as organizational determinants. Also, establishing an independent EMS organization and integrating pre-hospital and hospital emergency under single supervision and management were determined as the most affecting and affected organizational determinants, respectively, with the coordinates (1.01 and 1.01) and (0.85 and - 0.85) in the pre-hospital emergency organizational determinants graph.
Conclusions: Emergency medical services should be considered as a system with its independent components. Establishing an independent EMS organization, integrating pre-hospital and hospital emergency under single supervision and management, as well as, extending the possibility of providing EMS through private sector are essential in order to make fundamental reforms in providing emergency medical services in Iran.