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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 19(4); 2008 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2008;19(4): 349-358.
Development of a Model for Rural Emergency Medical Service System through Investigation of the Current State in a Rural County
Yong San Kim, Kyung Woon Jeung, Tag Heo
Department of Emergency Medicine, Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea. docheo@hanmail.net
Rural emergency medical service (EMS) is inferior to urban EMS. In creating and providing emergency patient care, in rural areas, it is important to consider resources, patient volumes, geography, technology challenges, volunteer and provider issues, medical oversight, polities, education, communications, and financial concerns. In the current environment in Korea, it is necessary to design tailored and self-supporting rural EMS systems. For the development of a self-supporting model for EMS systems in rural areas, we have studied the EMS system in one rural area, Goheung County.
We obtained data from a health institute center, the Gwangju emergency medical information center, three emergency medical centers, and the fire station in Goheung county. In order to survey resident's perceptions about the local EMS system, we provided a questionnaire to 324 residents in Goheung County in March 2005. The advisory council for the EMS system analyzed problems at each step or component of the EMS service delivery process and suggested a model for self-supporting EMS service in Goheung County.
The status of the EMS system in Goheung County is inferior to urban systems. A lack of appropriately trained emergency personnel at every level of care has been identified in this area. It is hard to find public education programs. There are few communication systems available for emergency medical care and there are extended transport times and distance, both for responding to and transporting patients. Resident's perceptions of the EMS system is unfavorable. The advisory council suggested an optimized plan to address the problems of the EMS system in Goheung County. A self-supporting model is suggested by the council. It is necessary to consider residents' participation and to apply available resources in Goheung County.
An ideal EMS system in Goheung County will be a self-supporting model requiring participation of residents and wise application of available sources. The first consideration in this model is institution of a public education program and recruitment and education of first responders in every village is suggested. The model recommends integration of the EMS communication system to provide quality emergency medical care.
Key words: Emergencies, Rural health services, First aid
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