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Modeling Effective, Efficient and Sustainable Emergency Medical Service System for Rural Areas - UTC

Started: March, 2010 Ended: March, 2012 Project ID #4W3019 Status: Completed

Results & Findings

As described in the final report, This modeling approach developed through this project could be used to produce an optimized output (after iterations) which accounts for various factors which affect EMS service in a given area. In addition, the compartmentalized nature of the overall modeling approach would allow for different factors to be employed and changed on an individual basis yet still interact with others overall. Collectively, the individual models and the simulation would produce a number of outputs, including performance metrics, budget information, resource needs and allocations, and data to support GIS mapping, among other items. This work also identified a series of potential barriers which could present challenges to the eventual implementation of a modeling approach based on the conceptual framework developed. These include cost, data availability, agency goals/needs, and general reluctance of models. The primary recommendation drawn from this work is that a follow-up phase to this project should be pursued to identify the proper modeling techniques to employ for each of the model components identified in this report.


The overall goal of this project is to develop one or more model response systems for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in rural areas that are regional, coordinated, accountable, and sustainable.


Many challenges face Emergency Medical Services (EMS) today, in particular the pre-hospital phase. Among these are a mal-distribution of providers by both number and level of training, delays in offloading patients at the hospital and ambulance diversion. In rural areas, these challenges are exacerbated by the nature of the pre-hospital care workforce, the barriers caused by time and distance, and the limitations of rural economics and available resources. Research in the pre-hospital phase has been limited and largely focused on specific clinical interventions rather than system design issues. Best practice models have not been well documented and/or replicated. For this project, WTI and the Critical Illness and Trauma Foundation (CIT) will partner in a multi-phase research effort to develop one or more model response systems for EMS in rural areas that meet the Institute of Medicine's vision of systems that are “regionalized, coordinated and accountable” and which are, additionally, sustainable. The models will integrate principles of general systems theory, logistical design, economics, transportation and sociology. In Phase I, the team will develop the framework and methods for modeling EMS systems. Phase II will involve a table top exercise based on input variables from an actual region in Montana. Field test trials will follow phase I and II, contingent upon regional willingness and financial support. This project encompasses the tasks of Phase I.


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Sponsors & Partners

Part of: Safety and Operations, Systems Engineering Development & Integration, UTC

Project Tagged In: emergency medical services, public safety

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