GIS Technology Shows Potential in Hospital Patient Transport Services | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

GIS Technology Shows Potential in Hospital Patient Transport Services

April 10, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Geographic information systems (GIS) technology could improve the effectiveness of hospital patient transport services, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati.

The research is offering hospitals and trauma centers a unique, accurate, and scientific approach to making decisions about transporting critical-care patients by air or by ambulance, officials said at a presentation this week at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in Tampa, Fla.

Early results indicate GIS technology is both accurate and successful in providing estimated transport times to trauma centers. The study analyzes patient transport data from the Maryland Medevac Helicopter Program, focusing on travel time equal to or less than 60 minutes, the so-called “golden hour” of getting critical-care patients to treatment. Launched in 1970, the system in Maryland is taxpayer-funded and operated by state police, with the philosophy that a medical helicopter can transport anyone in the state within the hour. The system is coordinated by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System.

In applying the GIS technology to factor ambulance versus medical helicopter response times, the researchers examined more than 10 years of medical helicopter transports in a five county area surrounding Frederick County, Maryland, over 2000-2011. The data involved 2,200 medical cases.

The technology computed the time of air transport versus ground transport, accounting for distance (and not just a straight line) for ground travel, as well as speed limits—estimating that ambulances would travel 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Based on the analyses of the medical cases in the study, the researchers found that 31 percent of the trauma cases transported by air could have also been transported by ambulance within the “golden hour” of trauma treatment, potentially saving taxpayers thousands of dollars.

“As the system becomes more motivated to fly fewer patients—not just for cost but also for safety—we think GIS is going to play a key role,” Samuel Galvagno Jr., assistant professor, divisions of trauma anesthesiology and adult critical care medicine, Maryland Shock Trauma Center, said in a news release. “The technology and analytical methods that Michael has developed for this are going to play a key role in policy decisions and allocation of what is an expensive and limited resource.”

Read the source article at uc.edu

Topics

News

Community Data Sharing: Eight Recommendations From San Diego

A learning guide focuses on San Diego’s experience in building a community health information exchange and the realities of embarking on a broad community collaboration to achieve better data sharing.

HealthlinkNY’s Galanis to Step Down as CEO

Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.

Email-Related Cyber Attacks a Top Concern for Providers

U.S. healthcare providers overwhelmingly rank email as the top source of a potential data breach, according to new research from email and data security company Mimecast and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.