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Simulating changes to emergency care resour... [J Clin Epidemiol. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

Simulating changes to emergency care resour... [J Clin Epidemiol. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

 2013 Aug;66(8 Suppl):S57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.03.021.

Simulating changes to emergency care resources to compare system effectiveness.



To apply systems optimization methods to simulate and compare the most effective locations for emergency care resources as measured by access to care.


This study was an optimization analysis of the locations of trauma centers (TCs), helicopter depots (HDs), and severely injured patients in need of time-critical care in select US states. Access was defined as the percentage of injured patients who could reach a level I/II TC within 45 or 60 minutes. Optimal locations were determined by a search algorithm that considered all candidate sites within a set of existing hospitals and airports in finding the best solutions that maximized access.


Across a dozen states, existing access to TCs within 60 minutes ranged from 31.1% to 95.6%, with a mean of 71.5%. Access increased from 0.8% to 35.0% after optimal addition of one or two TCs. Access increased from 1.0% to 15.3% after optimal addition of one or two HDs. Relocation of TCs and HDs (optimal removal followed by optimal addition) produced similar results.


Optimal changes to TCs produced greater increases in access to care than optimal changes to HDs although these results varied across states. Systems optimization methods can be used to compare the impacts of different resource configurations and their possible effects on access to care. These methods to determine optimal resource allocation can be applied to many domains, including comparative effectiveness and patient-centered outcomes research.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Access to care, Geography, Health policy, Health system optimization, Location science, Trauma center, Wound and injuries

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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