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Geographic Information Systems and Emergency Care Planning

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Rapid access to emergency care can be life-saving, and geography is an important determinant of access to care. In this article, the authors review the organization of emergency care in the United States and describe the use of geographic information systems (GIS) to describe and solve health-related problems. The distribution of and access to medical resources, especially in the case of time-sensitive conditions, embodies the core concepts of geography—the relationship between place, time, and physical phenomena. The authors propose the expanded use of GIS in the development of the emergency care system and suggest that a transparent inventory of emergency care resources, coupled with an understanding of how access to appropriate care influences outcomes, can inform the creation of a regionalized, coordinated, and accountable emergency care system.

ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17: 1274–1278 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2010


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