Emergency medical services

Emergency Medical Services play an important role in the Danish healthcare system. Emergencies require fast and resolute action from both citizens and healthcare professionals. But the success of these efforts ultimately depends on an effective emergency management system.

Danish healthcare transformation prioritises early diagnostics and treatment. The focus on cancer and chronic diseases are further initiatives, which change the role of acute care in the future. These are the reasons why Denmark has both introduced the future Emergency Medical Services, while simultaneously providing pre-hospital assistance and the ambulance a new role.

The Emergency Medical Dispatch Center is the first point of contact to emergency care, providing citizens with instructions to begin acute care, such as telephone-assisted CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), until healthcare professionals arrive. The staff at the Emergency Medical Dispatch Center is trained to assess emergency calls to ensure that citizens receive the most efficient help.

In many emergency situations, time is of critical importance. This fact has triggered a nationwide effort to encourage and educate citizens to handle emergencies. For a citizen suffering from cardiac arrest, for instance, survival chances will often depend on the actions of bystanders – for example so-called heart runners - before medical staff arrives. A bystander will be alerted through a smartphone application and can rush to the scene of emergency to begin CPR as quickly as possible. The Emergency Medical Dispatch Center dispatches an emergency physician and a paramedic while guiding the bystander until the emergency team arrives.

Technological advancements and high skill levels of emergency staff, allow for specialised treatment to begin at the scene of an emergency and continue during transport. All ambulances in Denmark use prehospital records, collecting and storing data in one central database, which ensures seamless communication and real-time transmission of patient data between the ambulance and the receiving hospital.