Student Dissertation

Agency : Emergency Medical Services; Perception; Ambulance Services; Value Increasing Business Model

Objective : • To assess the current industry and competitive scenario of emergency medical services in India. • To analyze the perception of customers for emergency medical services. • To develop a digitally enabled model of emergency care system.

Background : Emergency medical services, also known as ambulance services or paramedic services (abbreviated to the initialism EMS, EMAS, EMARS or SAMU in some countries), are a type of emergency service dedicated to providing out-of-hospital acute medical care, transport to definitive care, and other medical transport to patients with illnesses and injuries which prevent the patient from transporting themselves (NHTSA). Currently, India lacks a centralized body that could provide specific guidelines for training and operation of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). We have a fragmented and inaccessible service. Road traffic injuries are the ninth leading cause of death across all age groups globally, and are predicted to become the seventh by 2030 (WHO report 2015). This is where the role of a robust emergency response service comes into play so that precious lives and serious repercussions could be averted. Keywords: Emergency medical services, perception, expectations, industry research, competition mapping, infrastructure of ambulance, response time

Methodology : Descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in Mumbai for three months (Feb 6th-May 5th 2017). Firstly, the industrial scanning and competitive mapping was done through secondary research. Then, two separate structured questionnaires were used to measure the experience of users of ambulance services and expectations of non-users. To select the sample, non-probability convenient sampling technique was used. The total sample size for the study was 400 (200 users and 200 non-users of EMS). The data obtained was analyzed using pivot tables.

Findings : The result of the secondary data analysis indicated that India has a fragmented EMS with few service providers. There are inappropriate and inadequately equipped ambulances. There is a lack of monitoring mechanism to ensure timely and optimal care. The primary data analysis of users indicated the higher response time as one of the major issue. The investigation of non-users for measuring expectations for EMS revealed that the most important parameter is efficiency of emergency care system, infrastructure of the ambulance and the emergency personnel.

Recommendations :Conclusion: On the basis of the results obtained, to address the issues of timeliness and optimal quality care, a digital platform is proposed. A new business model of EMS i.e. digital platform is proposed to address the issues investigated in the research. Limitations: Before the implementation at a wider scale and at a commercialized level, the viability of this model needs to be checked through a pilot study