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Do Emergency Medical System Response Times Matter For Health Outcomes?

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  • Elizabeth Ty Wilde

Abstract

The introduction of technology aimed at reducing the response times of emergency medical services has been one of the principal innovations in crisis care over the last several decades. These substantial investments have typically been justified by an assumed link between shorter response times and improved health outcomes. However, current medical research does not generally show a relationship between response time and mortality. In this study, we explain the discrepancy between conventional wisdom and mortality; existing medical research fails to account for the endogeneity of incident severity and response times. Analyzing detailed call‐level information from the state of Utah's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, we measure the impact of response time on mortality and hospital utilization using the distance of the incident from the nearest EMS agency headquarters as an instrument for response time. We find that response times significantly affect mortality and the likelihood of being admitted to the hospital, but not procedures or utilization within the hospital. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Elizabeth Ty Wilde, 2013. "Do Emergency Medical System Response Times Matter For Health Outcomes?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 790-806, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:22:y:2013:i:7:p:790-806
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.2851
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    Cited by:

    1. Courtemanche, Charles & Friedson, Andrew & Koller, Andrew P. & Rees, Daniel I., 2019. "The affordable care act and ambulance response times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    2. Brent, Daniel & Beland, Louis-Philippe, 2020. "Traffic congestion, transportation policies, and the performance of first responders," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    3. Louis-Philippe Beland & Daniel A. Brent, 2018. "Traffic and the Provision of Public Goods," Departmental Working Papers 2018-04, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    4. Tanguy Brachet & Guy David & Andrea M. Drechsler, 2012. "The Effect of Shift Structure on Performance," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 219-246, April.
    5. Avdic, Daniel, 2016. "Improving efficiency or impairing access? Health care consolidation and quality of care: Evidence from emergency hospital closures in Sweden," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 44-60.
    6. Elena Lucchese, 2020. "It could be worse...it could be raining: Ambulance response time and health outcomes," Working Papers 429, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2020.
    7. Winston, Clifford & Mannering, Fred, 2014. "Implementing technology to improve public highway performance: A leapfrog technology from the private sector is going to be necessary," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 158-165.
    8. Fredrick Manang & Chikako Yamauchi, 2015. "The impact of access to health facilities on maternal care use and health status: Evidence from longitudinal data from rural Uganda," GRIPS Discussion Papers 15-19, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    9. José Castillo-Manzano & Mercedes Castro-Nuño & Xavier Fageda, 2014. "Can health public expenditure reduce the tragic consequences of road traffic accidents? The EU-27 experience," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(6), pages 645-652, July.
    10. Chaudhary, Sookti & Davis, Alison & Troske, Kenneth & Troske, SuZanne, 2019. "Hospital Closures and Short-Run Change in Ambulance Call Times," IZA Discussion Papers 12797, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Elena Lucchese, 2020. "Where are you? The problem of location during emergencies," Working Papers 439, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2020.
    12. Amir Ali Nasrollahzadeh & Amin Khademi & Maria E. Mayorga, 2018. "Real-Time Ambulance Dispatching and Relocation," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 20(3), pages 467-480, July.
    13. Pieter L van den Berg & Peter Fiskerstrand & Karen Aardal & Jørgen Einerkjær & Trond Thoresen & Jo Røislien, 2019. "Improving ambulance coverage in a mixed urban-rural region in Norway using mathematical modeling," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(4), pages 1-14, April.
    14. Seidel, André, 2019. "A global map of amenities: Public goods, ethnic divisions and decentralization," Working Papers in Economics 5/19, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    15. Avdic, Danie, 2015. "A matter of life and death? Hospital distance and quality of care: evidence from emergency hospital closures and myocardial infarctions," Working Paper Series 2015:1, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    16. Dolejš, Martin & Purchard, Jan & Javorčák, Adam, 2020. "Generating a spatial coverage plan for the emergency medical service on a regional scale: Empirical versus random forest modelling approach," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 89(C).

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