The action plan comprises five main themes and contains 24 action points.
Optimal deployment of ambulance care
The key to optimal deployment is good triage: determining what care the patient needs, how urgent it is, and who can best provide this care. Ambulance care is part of the chain of acute care and the working method within the ambulance sector must be aligned with the chain.
Among others, action points include a continuous focus on improving the primary process, developing clear and optimal classifications of urgency, and doing research on the role of triage systems.
Cooperation within the chain
This involves the right care in the right place, provided by the right healthcare provider at the right time. Collectively organising all activities surrounding triage and coordinating, directing and monitoring the performance of the care delivered to patients within the chain contributes to these aims. In this way, care coordination can be a possible method for relieving the pressure on acute care. Information sharing is of great importance for building effective care coordination.
The ambulance sector is developing an objective and measurable quality framework. This describes what good ambulance care is and provides tools and guidance for safeguarding and improving the quality of ambulance care. The quality framework contains both qualitative and quantitative indicators.
The available knowledge and competences within the RAV are coming into line with the revised quality requirements, optimisation of the primary process and more intensive cooperation within the chain.
The labour market is under pressure and this includes Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). The ambulance sector participates in national and regional action plans and initiates sector-specific actions.
Action points include improving the training and employability of EMTs, developing policy focused on giving nursing specialists and physician assistants a better position, and working collectively to implement care differentiation.
The basic conditions have to be in order, so as to be able to offer optimal and effective ambulance care. The basic principles for achieving the required performance must be the same for all RAVs, in spite of the – sometimes large – regional differences. Research into possible changes to the National Reference Framework for Distribution & Availability and greater flexibility in the RAV policy rules should contribute to this effort, as will clarity regarding the future regulation of the sector.