Evaluation of a Regionalized Approach Toward Providing Emergency Medical Services in British Columbia: Is Distance to Services a Critical Factor in Injury Mortality?

One of the primary reasons for this regionalization of health care in British Columbia is so that more resources can be spent on direct patient care and less on bureaucracy and duplication. A critical component of this systems approach is equipping selected facilities with the resources to treat the most severely injured patients. Distance to care is hypothesized to be inversely related to patient outcome – as delays in transporting patients to critical care has a known negative effect on mortality and morbidity. The geographic distribution of accredited trauma hospitals varies widely throughout BC and it has yet to be investigated whether distance plays a determining factor in affecting patient outcomes in the province. The research will investigate to what extent, if any, distance plays in trauma patient outcomes and whether its relationship is consistent throughout the province or if there are regional or injury specific mechanisms that are affected by the length of time it takes to receive acute hospital care. It is anticipated that these research results will be of great interest to provincial health care policy and health promotion.

Nathaniel Bell
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Nadine Schuurman
British Columbia