Where’s The Logic

Brett Patterson

Hi Brett:

I have a quick question about ProQA®.

We are using ProQA version 5.1.1.37 and logic 13.3.128. The Stroke Diagnostic Tool version is 5.1.0.46.

When we select “unable to complete the request” in the tool, the score given is 2.

I think it’s incorrect because if the patient cannot complete the request, we teach as part of the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS®) curriculum that the score is 0.

There are many reasons why the patient cannot complete the request—normally not verbal, Deaf, amputation, too weak, on the floor …

I don’t want to teach to my students we need to trick ProQA and enter the answer “refuse to complete the request.”

Thanks for your help with this!

Guillaume Pelletier

Directeur clinique et de l’enseignement

Centre de communication sante’ Laurentides

Blainville, Quebec, Canada

Hi Guillaume!

Good to hear from you. 

We recently expanded the options to include an “unable” versus “refused” option to capture those patients who tried but could not complete the task as there is evidence these patients are actually having a stroke. This is why the software assigns a score to these patients.

So, we need to teach our EMDs the difference between these options.

Your first examples—normally non-verbal, Deaf, cannot understand, or no arms)—should be in the “refused” bucket, along with those callers and patients who are not willing to try the test.

However, if they are willing to try and simply cannot complete the test, i.e., too weak, on the floor, etc., they belong in the “unable” bucket, as they may well be having a stroke.

Brett A. Patterson
Academics & Standards Associate
Chair, Medical Council of Standards
International Academies of Emergency Dispatch®


Brett Patterson is Academics & Standards Associate and Chair of the Medical Council of Standards for the IAED. His role involves protocol standards and evolution, research, training, curriculum, and quality improvement. Prior to working with the IAED, he spent 10 years working in the Pinellas County EMS System, Florida. He answers members’ protocol questions in the Journal FAQ column. (brett.patterson@emergencydispatch.org) 

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