Modeling an emergency medical services system using computer simulation

  • Su S
  • Shih C
  • 2

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Abstract

Study objectives: In the emergency medical services (EMS) system, appropriate prehospital care can substantially decrease casualty mortality and morbidity. This study designed a simulation model, evaluated the existing EMS system, and suggested improvements. Methods: The study focused on 23 networked EMS hospitals affiliated with 36 emergency response units (subgroups) to perform two-tier rescues (advanced life support [ALS] in addition to basic life support [BLS] services) in Taipei, Taiwan. Using the existing EMS model as a base, this research constructed a computer simulation model and explored several model alternatives to achieve the study's objectives. The virtual models varied with staffing Level, number of assigned emergency network hospitals, and various two-tier rescue probabilities. Results: Increasing the staffing to two teams for Hospital 22 lessened the call waiting probability (delay between rescue call and ambulance dispatch) by 50%, even if the dispatch rate of the two-tier rescue increased from the empirical 2% to a simulated 10 and 20%. Changing the two-tier rescue pattern so each EMS subgroup cooperated with two specific, preassigned network hospitals towered the probability of patients having to wait for rescue dispatch to under 1%. Conclusion: The following alternatives provided the greatest combination of effectiveness, quality patient care, and cost-efficiency: (1) because of its unique location, increase Hospital 22's staffing level to two ALS teams. (2) Establish a specific rescue protocol for the two-tier system that preassigns two network hospitals to each of the 36 EMS subgroups along with a prearranged calling sequence. If implemented, this will improve EMS performance, streamline the system, reduce randomness, and enhance efficiency. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved

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Authors

  • S Su

  • C L Shih

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