Emergency Communication Nurse System™ (ECNS™)

The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch's® (IAED™) certified Emergency Communication Nurse System™ (ECNS™) is a comprehensive nurse triage system comprised of over 200 protocols. It is designed to be implemented within an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) communication center and used alongside the IAED’s Medical Priority Dispatch System™ (MPDS®), which was developed over 33 years ago. Not every emergency call needs a lights-and-siren response. In fact, not every call even needs a COLD ambulance response. ECNS, when used with the MPDS Protocol and Priority Dispatch Corp.'s™ internationally-recognized gold-standard dispatch and QI software—ProQA® and AQUA®—can provide optimal ALTERNATIVE CARE for vetted low-acuity, or OMEGA, Determinant Codes, giving EMS systems new options to care for patients and their communities. Responses to OMEGA determinates are locally defined based on MPDS-approved codes.

ECNS is considered IAED's "Fourth Pillar of Care" along with Emergency Medical Dispatch™, Emergency Fire Dispatch™, and Emergency Police Dispatch™. Accreditation as a Center of Excellence is an integral part of superior care standards with current medical accreditation required before a center can use the ECNS protocol. Other prerequisites for ECNS include implementing ProQA dispatch software and AQUA quality improvement software.

The overall ECNS progress is comprehensive, yet simple. First, a call comes into the communication center and ProQA is launched by the Emergency Medical Dispatcher™ (EMD). If, after EMD questioning, the patient is assigned a pre-determined and locally-defined "low code" (OMEGA Code), the call is transferred to the Emergency Communication Nurse (ECN) desk. This desk is staffed by an experienced, specially-trained, and ECNS-certified Registered Nurse who uses LowCode™ software developed by Priority Solutions Inc. (PSI), which seamlessly integrates with ProQA, to assess the patient. For numerous reasons it is imperative that the ECN be co-located within the communication center. After verifying there are no priority symptoms, additional information is gathered such as co-morbid conditions, medications, and allergies. An ECNS symptom-based protocol is then selected and additional assessment conducted.

LOWCODE nurseBased on the caller’s answers, a Recommended Care Level is achieved, which includes tiered response levels from Send an Ambulance Now to Self-Care Instructions. From here a second tier disposition is available which is customer definable. This tier represents resources available in the customer’s community e.g. urgent care centers, primary care physicians. Users can engage a third tier disposition called a directory of services which will identify a specific list of health care resources near the patient.

Priority Solutions Inc.’s LowCode software has been in use for over fourteen years throughout the world and more than two million calls have been processed without an untoward incident.

The ECNS has been designed to specifically meet the following two goals:

  1. Appropriately manage and support caller access to an increasingly burdened healthcare system by better allocating resources to meet their non-emergent, non-life-threatening health situations.
  2. Help EMS communication centers, ambulance services, and all EMS providers optimize their resources and outcomes by sending, when necessary, the

• right personnel, to the
• right place, at the
• right time, with the
• right equipment, using the
• right resources, to get the
• right care, in the most clinically appropriate way; thereby facilitating the
• right cost, to patients, providers, and payers.

ECNS Nurse Patch

Key Points:

• ECNS currently has user centers in 5 countries on 4 continents
• More than 1,000 clinitians trained throughout the world
• ECNS currently has over 200 protocols—each containing a clinical rationale along with a reference list for additional information

Benefits of ECNS:

• Effective and standardized clinical assessment and assignment of appropriate Recommended Care Levels
• Safely manages the growing demands on healthcare providers
• Reduces the demand on ambulance transportation services
• Reduces unnecessary ER visits and wait times
• Numerous integration efforts completed with third party software
• Brings appropriate care closer to patients while being responsive to their needs
• Establishes efficient and effective use of EMS and community provider resources
• ECNS is considered “The Fourth Pillar” of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch, along with EMD, EFD, and EPD, and is regulated by its Standards Council
• Established Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement process, with the software integration availability of AQUA Evolution
• Data-driven approach with proven safety and efficacy with over 14 years of QA/QI data

ECNS Benefits


As shown below, many organizations utilize ECNS and LowCode.

Organization Location
North Shore–LIJ Syosset, New York, USA
REMSA Reno, Nevada, USA
Salt Lake City Fire Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
MedStar EMS Ft. Worth, Texas, USA
Royal District Nursing Services Melbourne, Australia
East of England Ambulance Service United Kingdom
Yorkshire Ambulance Service United Kingdom
South West Ambulance Service United Kingdom
Queensland Ambulance Service Brisbane, Australia
Queensland Health/13 Health Brisbane, Australia
NetCare South Africa
Botswana Medical Rescue International Gaborone, Botswana



International Academies of Emergency Dispatch

Gigi Marshall, MSN, RN, CNE
Program Administrator
Phone: +1 801-746-5664
Email: gigi.marshall@prioritysolutionsinc.com
Web: www.prioritysolutionsinc.com

Priority Solutions Inc.

Conrad Fivaz, MD
Director of Operations, International
Phone: +1 801-875-8755
Email: conrad.fivaz@prioritysolutionsinc.com
Web: www.prioritysolutionsinc.com