Quality improvement and paramedic care: What does the literature reveal for pre-hospital emergency care in Australia?

Russell Linwood, Gary Day, Gerard J Fitzgerald, Brian Federick Oldenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this article to review the literature relating to improving paramedic care in an Australian context. Design/methodology/approach - The paper presents changes and challenges that have occurred in the ambulance services in terms of improving care and measuring performance, exploring the literature on quality improvement initiatives and their application to pre-hospital care. Findings - While hospitals and health services have moved well down the quality improvement pathway, the application of these processes to pre-hospital care has been a relatively recent phenomenon. Ambulance services have taken a variety of approaches to measuring and improving pre-hospital care. This article questions the transferability of lessons learned in hospitals to ambulance services. Arguably, the quality improvement approach is dependent upon health control and funding models and where ambulance is categorised in terms of health or emergency services. Originality/value - The quality improvement approach by Australian paramedics and ambulance services is in its infancy. This article provides insights into the quality improvement approach taken by ambulance staff in Australia compared to other countries, as well as highlighting useful information on the future direction and research into the area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405 - 415
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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