Date: May 24, 2022
Prehospital Emergency Medical Services Personnel: Comparing Rural and Urban Professional Experience and Provision of Evidence-Based Care
This study describes the relationship between prehospital emergency medical services (EMS) providers’ levels of experience and provision of evidence-based care for rural and urban populations. Using electronic prehospital EMS patient care record data, Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho (WWAMI) Rural Health Research Center examined four EMS Compass performance measures of evidenced-based care for seizure, stroke, hypoglycemia, and trauma.
Compared with EMS agencies serving predominantly urban patient populations, rural-serving agencies less often provided evidence-based care according to performance measures for stroke, hypoglycemia, and trauma. The rural/urban difference was more pronounced with increasing rurality. Using daily 911 encounters and total time spent on 911 encounters as measures of accumulated experience, WWAMI Rural Health Research Center found that EMS professionals at rural agencies had lower levels of accumulated experience than professionals at urban agencies. Experience levels decreased as agency rurality increased. Patients were more likely to receive evidenced-based care for seizure and trauma when the lead EMS professional at the encounter had accumulated more total time responding to 911 encounters. Measures of experience were not associated with evidence-based care for stroke or hypoglycemia.
Davis Patterson, PhD
WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
Additional Resources of Interest:
- More information about the WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
- More information from the Rural Health Information Hub’s topic guides: Education and Training of the Rural Healthcare Workforce, Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Trauma, Rural Healthcare Quality, Rural Healthcare Workforce