Special Issue "Emergency Medical Services Research"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Care Sciences & Services".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Chih-Hao Lin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Emergency Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Interests: emergency medical services; emergency medicine; disaster medicine; resuscitation; medical education
Dr. Ming-Ju Hsieh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Emergency Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Interests: emergency medical services; stroke; resuscitation; medical education
Dr. Jen-Tang Sun
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Emergency Medicine, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Interests: emergency medical services; point-of-care ultrasound; resuscitation; trauma

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Emergency medical services (EMS) not only deliver emergency care for people who get sick or injured but also transport them in a timely manner to medical facilities that can provide definitive treatment. The compositions of the EMS system vary around the world. Some are run by physicians and some by emergency medical technicians. Variations of cultures, histories, and customs in different areas also affect the style of the local EMS system. The EMS system belongs to a part of social safety and plays a crucial role in preserving the lives of citizens who have suffered from life-threatening illnesses and traumatic accidents. EMS personnel also respond to various kinds of situations, including nuclear, biological and chemical incidents, and even disasters.

We sincerely invite research articles that are related to the EMS system to be submitted in this Special Issue, “Emergency Medical Services Research”, including descriptions of current condition, system improvement, prehospital care, new innovations, strategies, or technologies, occupational health and safety, financial issues, political statements, etc. Manuscripts of themes in disasters are also welcome.

Dr. Chih-Hao Lin
Dr. Ming-Ju Hsieh
Dr. Jen-Tang Sun
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Emergency medical services
  • Emergency medical technician
  • Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
  • Dispatch
  • Occupational health and safety in EMS
  • Prehospital management
  • Regionalization
  • Public access defibrillation
  • Disaster
  • Mass casualty incident

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Article
A Weakly-Supervised Named Entity Recognition Machine Learning Approach for Emergency Medical Services Clinical Audit
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7776; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18157776 - 22 Jul 2021
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Clinical performance audits are routinely performed in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to ensure adherence to treatment protocols, to identify individual areas of weakness for remediation, and to discover systemic deficiencies to guide the development of the training syllabus. At present, these audits are [...] Read more.
Clinical performance audits are routinely performed in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to ensure adherence to treatment protocols, to identify individual areas of weakness for remediation, and to discover systemic deficiencies to guide the development of the training syllabus. At present, these audits are performed by manual chart review, which is time-consuming and laborious. In this paper, we report a weakly-supervised machine learning approach to train a named entity recognition model that can be used for automatic EMS clinical audits. The dataset used in this study contained 58,898 unlabeled ambulance incidents encountered by the Singapore Civil Defence Force from 1st April 2019 to 30th June 2019. With only 5% labeled data, we successfully trained three different models to perform the NER task, achieving F1 scores of around 0.981 under entity type matching evaluation and around 0.976 under strict evaluation. The BiLSTM-CRF model was 1~2 orders of magnitude lighter and faster than our BERT-based models. Our proposed proof-of-concept approach may improve the efficiency of clinical audits and can also help with EMS database research. Further external validation of this approach is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medical Services Research)
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Article
Impact of COVID-19 on Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Singapore
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3646; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073646 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 827
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in Singapore. We used data from the Singapore Civil Defence Force to compare the incidence, characteristics and outcomes of all Emergency Medical Services (EMS)-attended [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in Singapore. We used data from the Singapore Civil Defence Force to compare the incidence, characteristics and outcomes of all Emergency Medical Services (EMS)-attended adult OHCA during the pandemic (January–May 2020) and pre-pandemic (January–May 2018 and 2019) periods. Pre-hospital return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was the primary outcome. Binary logistic regression was used to calculate the adjusted odds ratios (aOR) for the characteristics of OHCA. Of the 3893 OHCA patients (median age 72 years, 63.7% males), 1400 occurred during the pandemic period and 2493 during the pre-pandemic period. Compared with the pre-pandemic period, OHCAs during the pandemic period more likely occurred at home (aOR: 1.48; 95% CI: 1.24–1.75) and were witnessed (aOR: 1.71; 95% CI: 1.49–1.97). They received less bystander CPR (aOR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.61–0.81) despite 65% of witnessed arrests by a family member, and waited longer for EMS (OR ≥ 10 min: 1.71, 95% CI 1.46–2.00). Pre-hospital ROSC was less likely during the pandemic period (aOR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.53–0.84). The pandemic saw increased OHCA incidence and worse outcomes in Singapore, likely indirect effects of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medical Services Research)
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Article
Understanding the Effect of Electronic Prehospital Medical Records in Ambulances: A Qualitative Observational Study in a Prehospital Setting
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2330; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052330 - 27 Feb 2021
Viewed by 912
Abstract
Little is known of ambulance professionals’ work practices regarding the use of medical records, their communication with patients, before and during hand over to Emergency Departments (ED). An electronic Prehospital Medical Record (ePMR) has been implemented in all Danish ambulances since 2015. Our [...] Read more.
Little is known of ambulance professionals’ work practices regarding the use of medical records, their communication with patients, before and during hand over to Emergency Departments (ED). An electronic Prehospital Medical Record (ePMR) has been implemented in all Danish ambulances since 2015. Our aim was to investigate the use of ePMR and whether it affected the ambulance professionals’ clinical practice. We performed a qualitative study with observations of ePMR use in ambulance runs in the North Denmark Region. Furthermore, informal interviews with ambulance professionals was performed. Analysis was accomplished with inspiration from grounded theory. Our main findings were: (1) the ePMR is an essential work tool which aided ambulance professionals with overview of data collection and facilitated a checklist for ED hand overs, (2) mobility and flexibility of the ePMR facilitated conversations and relations with the patients, and (3) in acute severe situations, the ePMR could not stand alone in hand over or communication with the ED. The ePMR affected the ambulance professionals’ work practice in various ways and utilization of ePMR while simultaneously treating patients in ambulances does not obstruct the relation with the patient. To this end, the ePMR appears feasible in collaboration across the prehospital setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medical Services Research)
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Article
Community Socioeconomic Status and Dispatcher-Assisted Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for Patients with Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1207; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031207 - 29 Jan 2021
Viewed by 773
Abstract
Few studies have investigated the association between dispatcher-assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DA-CPR) performance and the outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) among communities with different socioeconomic statuses (SES). A retrospective cohort study was conducted using an Utstein-style population OHCA database in Tainan, Taiwan, between [...] Read more.
Few studies have investigated the association between dispatcher-assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DA-CPR) performance and the outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) among communities with different socioeconomic statuses (SES). A retrospective cohort study was conducted using an Utstein-style population OHCA database in Tainan, Taiwan, between January 2014 and December 2015. SES was defined based on real estate prices. The outcome measures included the achievement of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and the performance of DA-CPR. Statistical significance was set at a two-tailed p-value of less than 0.05. A total of 2928 OHCA cases were enrolled in the high SES (n = 1656, 56.6%), middle SES (n = 1025, 35.0%), and low SES (n = 247, 8.4%) groups. The high SES group had a significantly higher prehospital ROSC rate, ever ROSC rate, and sustained ROSC rate and good neurologic outcomes at discharge (all p < 0.005). The low SES group, compared to the high and middle SES groups, had a significantly longer dispatcher recognition time (p = 0.004) and lower early (≤60 s) recognition rate (p = 0.029). The high SES group, but none of the DA-CPR measures, had significant associations with sustained ROSC in the multivariate regression model. The low SES group was associated with a longer time to dispatcher recognition of cardiac arrest and worse outcomes of OHCA. Strategies to promote public awareness of cardiac arrest could be tailored to neighborhood SES. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medical Services Research)
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Article
Improving Psychological Comfort of Paramedics for Field Termination of Resuscitation through Structured Training
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1050; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031050 - 25 Jan 2021
Viewed by 704
Abstract
This study examines the impact of a newly developed structured training on Singapore paramedics’ psychological comfort before the implementation of a prehospital termination of resuscitation (TOR) protocol. Following a before and after study design, the paramedics underwent a self-administered questionnaire to assess their [...] Read more.
This study examines the impact of a newly developed structured training on Singapore paramedics’ psychological comfort before the implementation of a prehospital termination of resuscitation (TOR) protocol. Following a before and after study design, the paramedics underwent a self-administered questionnaire to assess their psychological comfort level applying the TOR protocol, 22 months before and one month after a 3-h structured training session. The questionnaire addressed five domains: sociocultural attitudes on resuscitation and TOR, multi-tasking, feelings towards resuscitation and TOR, interactions with colleagues and bystanders and informing survivors. Overall psychological comfort total (PCT) scores and domain-specific scores were compared using the paired t-test with higher scores representing greater comfort. Ninety-six of the 345 eligible paramedics responded. There was no statistically significant change in the mean PCT scores at baseline and post-training; however, the “feelings towards resuscitation and TOR” domain improved by 4.77% (95% CI 1.42 to 8.13 and p = 0.006) and the multi-tasking domain worsened by 4.11% (95% CI −7.82 to −0.41 and p = 0.030). While the structured training did not impact on the overall psychological comfort levels, it led to improvements in the feelings of paramedics towards resuscitation and TOR. Challenges remain in improving paramedics’ psychological comfort levels towards TOR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medical Services Research)
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Article
Association between Survival and Time of On-Scene Resuscitation in Refractory Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Cross-Sectional Retrospective Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 496; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18020496 - 09 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 894
Abstract
It is estimated that over 60% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients with a shockable rhythm are refractory to current treatment, never achieve return of spontaneous circulation, or die before they reach the hospital. Therefore, we aimed to identify whether field resuscitation time [...] Read more.
It is estimated that over 60% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients with a shockable rhythm are refractory to current treatment, never achieve return of spontaneous circulation, or die before they reach the hospital. Therefore, we aimed to identify whether field resuscitation time is associated with survival rate in refractory OHCA (rOHCA) with a shockable initial rhythm. This cross-sectional retrospective study extracted data of emergency medical service (EMS)-treated patients aged ≥ 15 years with OHCA of suspected cardiac etiology and shockable initial rhythm confirmed by EMS providers from the OHCA registry database of Korea. A multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted for survival to discharge and good neurological outcomes in the scene time interval groups. The median scene time interval for the non-survival and survival to discharge patients were 16 (interquartile range (IQR) 13–21) minutes and 14 (IQR 12–16) minutes, respectively. In this study, for rOHCA patients with a shockable rhythm, continuing CPR for more than 15 min on the scene was associated with a decreased chance of survival and good neurological outcome. In particular, we found that in the patients whose transport time interval was >10 min, the longer scene time interval was negatively associated with the neurological outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medical Services Research)
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Article
Symptom-Based Dispatching in an Emergency Medical Communication Centre: Sensitivity, Specificity, and the Area under the ROC Curve
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8254; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17218254 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 986
Abstract
Background: Measuring the performance of emergency medical dispatch tools used in paramedic-staffed emergency medical communication centres (EMCCs) is rarely performed. The objectives of our study were, therefore, to measure the performance and accuracy of Geneva’s dispatch system based on symptom assessment, in particular, [...] Read more.
Background: Measuring the performance of emergency medical dispatch tools used in paramedic-staffed emergency medical communication centres (EMCCs) is rarely performed. The objectives of our study were, therefore, to measure the performance and accuracy of Geneva’s dispatch system based on symptom assessment, in particular, the performance of ambulance dispatching with lights and sirens (L&S) and to measure the effect of adding specific protocols for each symptom. Methods: We performed a prospective observational study including all emergency calls received at Geneva’s EMCC (Switzerland) from 1 January 2014 to 1 July 2019. The risk levels selected during the emergency calls were compared to a reference standard, based on the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) scale, dichotomized to severe patient condition (NACA ≥ 4) or stable patient condition (NACA < 4) in the field. The symptom-based dispatch performance was assessed using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Contingency tables and a Fagan nomogram were used to measure the performance of the dispatch with or without L&S. Measurements were carried out by symptom, and a group of symptoms with specific protocols was compared to a group without specific protocols. Results: We found an acceptable area under the ROC curve of 0.7474, 95%CI (0.7448–0.7503) for the 148,979 assessments included in the study. Where the severity prevalence was 21%, 95%CI (20.8–21.2). The sensitivity of the L&S dispatch was 87.5%, 95%CI (87.1–87.8); and the specificity was 47.3%, 95%CI (47.0–47.6). When symptom-specific assessment protocols were used, the accuracy of the assessments was slightly improved. Conclusions: Performance measurement of Geneva’s symptom-based dispatch system using standard diagnostic test performance measurement tools was possible. The performance was found to be comparable to other emergency medical dispatch systems using the same reference standard. However, the implementation of specific assessment protocols for each symptom may improve the accuracy of symptom-based dispatch systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medical Services Research)
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Article
Hands-On Times, Adherence to Recommendations and Variance in Execution among Three Different CPR Algorithms: A Prospective Randomized Single-Blind Simulator-Based Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7946; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17217946 - 29 Oct 2020
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Background: Alternative cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) algorithms, introduced to improve outcomes after cardiac arrest, have so far not been compared in randomized trials with established CPR guidelines. Methods: 286 physician teams were confronted with simulated cardiac arrests and randomly allocated to one of three [...] Read more.
Background: Alternative cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) algorithms, introduced to improve outcomes after cardiac arrest, have so far not been compared in randomized trials with established CPR guidelines. Methods: 286 physician teams were confronted with simulated cardiac arrests and randomly allocated to one of three versions of a CPR algorithm: (1) current International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) guidelines (“ILCOR”), (2) the cardiocerebral resuscitation (“CCR”) protocol (3 cycles of 200 uninterrupted chest compressions with no ventilation), or (3) a local interpretation of the current guidelines (“Arnsberg“, immediate insertion of a supraglottic airway and cycles of 200 uninterrupted chest compressions). The primary endpoint was percentage of hands-on time. Results: Median percentage of hands-on time was 88 (interquartile range (IQR) 6) in “ILCOR” teams, 90 (IQR 5) in “CCR” teams (p = 0.001 vs. “ILCOR”), and 89 (IQR 4) in “Arnsberg” teams (p = 0.032 vs. “ILCOR”; p = 0.10 vs. “CCR”). “ILCOR” teams delivered fewer chest compressions and deviated more from allocated targets than “CCR” and “Arnsberg” teams. “CCR” teams demonstrated the least within-team and between-team variance. Conclusions: Compared to current ILCOR guidelines, two alternative CPR algorithms advocating cycles of uninterrupted chest compressions resulted in very similar hands-on times, fewer deviations from targets, and less within-team and between-team variance in execution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medical Services Research)
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Article
Disparities between Rural and Urban Areas of the Central Region of Saudi Arabia in the Utilization and Time-Centeredness of Emergency Medical Services
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7944; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17217944 - 29 Oct 2020
Viewed by 713
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore differences in characteristics of missions dispatched by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) between rural and urban areas of Riyadh province in Saudi Arabia (SA). It also aimed at identifying weaknesses related to utilization and Response Time [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to explore differences in characteristics of missions dispatched by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) between rural and urban areas of Riyadh province in Saudi Arabia (SA). It also aimed at identifying weaknesses related to utilization and Response Time (RT). The study retrospectively evaluated 146,639 completed missions in 2018 by measuring the utilization rate in rural and urban areas. The study shows there are six times more ambulance crews available for rural areas compared to urban. There were 22.1 missions per 1000 urban inhabitants and 11.2 missions per 1000 in rural areas. The median RT for high urgent trauma cases was 20.2 min in rural compared to 15.2 min in urban areas (p < 0.001). In urban areas, the median RT for high urgent medical cases was 16.1 min, while it was 15.2 min for high urgent trauma cases. Around 62.3% of emergency cases in urban and 56.5% in rural areas were responded to within 20.00 min. Women utilized EMS less frequently. The RT was increased in urban areas compared to previous studies. The RT in the central region of SA has been identified as equal, or less than 20.00 min in 62.4% of all emergency cases. To further improve adherence to the 20′ target, reorganizing the lowest urgent cases in the rural areas seems necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medical Services Research)
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Article
Association between Area-Level Socioeconomic Deprivation and Prehospital Delay in Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients: An Ecological Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7392; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17207392 - 11 Oct 2020
Viewed by 719
Abstract
We analyzed the associations between area-level socioeconomic status (SES) and prehospital delay in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients by degree of urbanization with the use of an ecological framework. The participants were 13,637 patients over 18 years of age who experienced AIS from [...] Read more.
We analyzed the associations between area-level socioeconomic status (SES) and prehospital delay in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients by degree of urbanization with the use of an ecological framework. The participants were 13,637 patients over 18 years of age who experienced AIS from 2007 to 2012 and were admitted to any of the 29 hospitals in South Korea. Area-level SES was determined using 11 variables from the 2010 Korean census. The primary outcome was a prehospital delay (more than three hours from AIS onset time). Multilevel logistic regression was conducted to define the associations of individual- and area-level SES with prehospital delay after adjusting for confounders, which includes the use of emergency medical services (EMS) and individual SES. After adjusting for covariates, it was found that the area-level SES and urbanization were not associated with prehospital delay and EMS use was beneficial in both urban and rural areas. However, after stratification by urbanization, low area-level SES was significantly associated with a prehospital delay in urban areas (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04–1.47) but not in rural areas (aOR 1.04, 95% CI 0.78–1.38). Therefore, we posit that area-level SES in urban areas might be a significant barrier to improving prehospital delay in AIS patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medical Services Research)
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Article
Factors Affecting Treatment with Life-Saving Interventions, Computed Tomography Scans and Specialist Consultations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2914; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082914 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 782
Abstract
Background: Emergency treatments determined by emergency physicians may affect mortality and patient satisfaction. This paper attempts to examine the impact of patient characteristics, health status, the accredited level of hospitals, and triaged levels on the following emergency treatments: immediate life-saving interventions (LSIs), computed [...] Read more.
Background: Emergency treatments determined by emergency physicians may affect mortality and patient satisfaction. This paper attempts to examine the impact of patient characteristics, health status, the accredited level of hospitals, and triaged levels on the following emergency treatments: immediate life-saving interventions (LSIs), computed tomography (CT) scans, and specialist consultations (SCs). Methods: A multivariate logistic regression model was employed to analyze the impact of patient characteristics, including sex, age, income and the urbanization degree of the patient’s residence; patient health status, including records of hospitalization and the number of instances of ambulatory care in the previous year; the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) score; the accredited level of hospitals; and the triaged level of emergency treatments. Results: All the patient characteristics were found to impact receiving LSI, CT and SC, except for income. Furthermore, a better health status was associated with a decreased probability of receiving LSI, CT and SC, but the number of instances of ambulatory care was not found to have a significant impact on receiving CT or SC. This study also found no evidence to support impact of CCI on SC. Hospitals with higher accredited levels were associated with a greater chance of patients receiving emergency treatments of LSI, CT and SC. A higher assigned severity (lower triaged level) led to an increased probability of receiving CT and SC. In terms of LSI, patients assigned to level 4 were found to have a lower chance of treatment than those assigned to level 5. Conclusions: This study found that several patient characteristics, patient health status, the accredited level of medical institutions and the triaged level, were associated with a higher likelihood of receiving emergency treatments. This study suggests that the inequality of medical resources among medical institutions with different accredited levels may yield a crowding-out effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medical Services Research)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: A practitioners point of view: Simulation-based optimization of emergency medical services' base locations and schedules
Authors: Christoph Strauss; Günter Bildstein
Affiliation: IMS – Institut für Modellbildung und Simulation
Abstract: Many studies deal with optimizing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) on both, the strategic and the operational level. We show, how research results are applied to EMS- and healthcare organizations to simulate and optimize specific regions in Germany and Switzerland with their strong federal structure. We explain our computer-aided simulation models which provide decision support to improve cantonal emergency services' efficiency without increasing cost. We also show that all simulation-based methods suggest normative solutions optimizing EMS performance within given healthcare system structures. At least in Switzerland, this local view on "EMS only" faces its limits, and interactions between EMS, Emergency Departments, and public healthcare agencies are crucial to further improve effectivity, efficiency, and quality.

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