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New Map Improves Emergency, Trauma Care Referrals

The 326 emergency and trauma referral regions uphold county and state boundaries

united states map

THURSDAY, April 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The Pittsburgh Atlas provides a new framework for emergency and trauma care regional referrals in the United States, according to a study published online March 28 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

David J. Wallace, M.D., M.P.H., from University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues developed a novel set of acute care referral regions using Medicare data in the United States from 2011. The study evaluated referral political boundary preservation and spatial accuracy for each set of referral regions for patients with acute myocardial infraction, acute stroke, or trauma.

The researchers found that the new set of referral regions, the Pittsburgh Atlas, had 326 distinct regions. These referral regions did not cross any county or state borders, as compared to the Dartmouth Atlas hospital referral regions, which cross county and state borders (43.1 and 98.1 percent of the time, respectively). The two atlases were comparable in terms of spatial accuracy. The Pittsburgh Atlas identified larger at-risk populations for all three conditions.

"A novel and straightforward spatial algorithm generated referral regions that were politically actionable and accountable for time-sensitive medical emergencies," the authors write.

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