Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Disaster Prep Wednesday: Controlling Emergency System Overusers

Most of us have learned that 80% of the problems caused in an organization will come from 20% of the employees, or 20% of the customers. Likewise, most of us believe 20% of the people in a work force seem to do 80% of the work. We probably didn't know we were describing some form of The Pareto Principle described as
. . . the principle that 20 percent of something always are responsible for 80 percent of the results, became known as Pareto's Principle or the 80/20 Rule.
Of course, like any rule, there are ways to misapply this "80/20" concept.

Nonetheless, as I was looking at a Jason Shueh article discussing the City of Long Beach, California, at the Emergency Management website, "Can an App Reduce the Number of 911 ‘Super-Users?’" which was republished from GovTech.com, it seemed to me that Mr. Pareto was in there somewhere - even if not exactly at the 80/20 ratio:
According to city records, in 2013 the police and fire departments tallied more than 1 million inbound-and-outbound calls — 850,000 for law enforcement and 162,000 for the fire department staff, whose calls are 85 percent medical. However, 22 percent of all medical emergency calls originated from one percent of the addresses in the database, while the top 10 percent of addresses made up 52 percent of the calls.
The impact and cost of 911 super-users can be staggering. Martha Rigsby, a Washington, D.C., resident, averaged seven to 13 calls to dispatchers per month over a 30-year period and, despite having health insurance, owed more than $61,300 to the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services for ambulance transportation.
The article points to a app that may help identify "super users" and allow emergency managers to reduce that !% to 22% ratio, or the 10% to 52% ratio.

The benefit of such reductions is the more efficient use of the limited resources of emergency responders. 

Wait! 7 to 13 calls a month for 30 years? That's about 4500 calls. Wow.

So if you are a responding organization, are you keeping track of how the same names appear in your records as requiring assistance? Have you got an 80/20 problem?

Something to ponder in terms of mitigation.

1 comment:

  1. Scott the Badger sent (before I fat-fingered it away):
    There is somewhat to be said for having been a rural Deputy.