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Expansion of emergency categories ambulance sector

source: Ambulancezorg Nederland

The ambulance industry has expanded the emergency categories from three to seven levels. For example, the new category A0 for direct deployment is as urgent as possible and the C category is for emergency room care. Changing the urgency classification should lead to a further improvement in the quality of care. The new layout is expected to be implemented at all control rooms by the end of 2024.
In case of life-threatening situations, the ambulance will drive to the patient with the utmost urgency. In cases where this is possible, more time is taken for triage. The current emergency categories A1 and A2 will be extended by A0 (immediate deployment with the greatest possible urgency) on medically logical grounds. Non-emergency ambulance care (B-category) will also be further expanded. For example, B1 is for high-complex ambulance care and B2 for medium and low-complex ambulance care. The urgency for emergency room care is new. C1 will result in a referral to another care provider, such as the GP emergency post, GP care, district nursing care or acute mental health care. At C2, the triage nurse gives self-care advice.

The diagram below shows how the new urgency categories of ambulance care relate to the urgency distribution at the GP emergency station.

Implementation of new urgency classification
The new urgency classification will be implemented from 30 March after consultation with the ambulance control rooms and the regional ambulance facilities. In addition to adjustments to the ambulance control rooms, coordination with care partners and other stakeholders is also needed. That is why a period until the end of 2024 is planned for this route. During the implementation process, Nivel conducts scientific research to evaluate the new urgency classification. Specifically, the extent to which the quality and safety of ambulance care is affected by the implementation will be investigated.

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