Bill Boehly Emergency Communication Nurse of the Year 2021

Journal Staff


In 2013, Diane Verreault started a project of secondary triage for non-emergency calls at Urgences-santé as well as coevaluation with the paramedics once on scene for emergency calls. Wanting a permanent solution, she investigated what was available. She didn’t want the nurses’ practice to lose the autonomy and independent clinical judgment in patient care if transitioning to an over-the-phone software system.

Well, not only did she discover that software assisted in patient care but that LowCode®—the clinical decision software of the Emergency Communication Nurse System™ (ECNS™)—offered security to both the patient and nurse. Optimal patient care is top priority to Verreault, which, she said, means offering the patient the right care at the right time with the right professional: both on the floor—30 years working in a hospital emergency room—and in the field as a paramedic at Urgences-santé.

Verreault retired from a career as a clinical care director and is now an acting consultant for ECNS implementation in Quebec, Canada. She has managed calls, certified as an Emergency Communication Nurse (ECN) and ECN-Q, and certified as an ECNS and ECN-Q Instructor. She helped in the recruitment of nurses for the telephone triage system at Urgencessanté and was also integral in the policy creation, configuration, and training.

Implementation of ECNS in Québec meant assuring the proper French translation. She checked more than 2,500 Key Questions, 1,500 self-help instructions, and protocol titles, putting the right word to the context. Verreault is now at Groupe Alerte-santé dispatch center for ECNS implementation. The second implementation is rather practical on Verreault’s part. She lives in the area Alerte-santé covers. “Now there will be a nurse available for me,” she said. She also believes that interdisciplinary efforts in EMS is an important element to offer the best of care. “EMDs, nurses, and paramedics must work hand in hand, sharing knowledge in building a learning community.”