Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Update on Emergency Services

Each year, emergency medical service providers respond to more than 25 to 30 million transport calls necessitating having the best knowledge available to effectively provide emergency medical care. For example, EMS providers use pre-hospital triage guidelines to determine whether a patient should be transported to a trauma center, but since the guideline’s accuracy and efficiency rely on the analysis of data sets from multiple sites, this information may not always be accurate.

The Clinical and Translational Research Institute, (CTSA) West Coast Consortium are working together with community partners to study how effectively emergency medicine is operating by looking at all of the data and expertise available on the subject.

The Center for Policy and Research in Emergency Medicine located at Oregon Health and Science University has launched a study on pre-hospital triage involving several CTSA sites. After some initial success, the research team saw the value and plans to expand their efforts.

With help from the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI), the first inter-CTSA network dedicated to the translational science of emergency care was established. The Western Emergency Services Translational Research Network (WESTRN) now includes seven CTSA sites at OHSU, University of Washington, UC Davis, UC San Francisco (with San Francisco General Hospital), Stanford University, University of Colorado (with Denver Health), and the University of Utah.

According to Eric Orwoll, Director of OCTRI notes, “Emergency medicine is an excellent example of the need for a translational approach with collaborations across disciplines and sites. We can’t address emergency medicine in isolation.”

The network has collected data on more than 325,000 patients at seven sites and has already been successful in securing additional funding and support from CDC and additional university research financial support.