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Dynamic ambulance relocation: a scoping review
Institute for Disaster and Emergency Management, Berlin, Germany.
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3290-4111
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. Örebro University Hospital. Ambulance Department, Örebro Country Council, Örebro, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7885-694X
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences. Ambulance Department, Örebro Country Council, Örebro, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0534-4593
2023 (English)In: BMJ Open, E-ISSN 2044-6055, Vol. 13, no 12, article id e073394Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives Dynamic ambulance relocation means that the operators at a dispatch centre place an ambulance in a temporary location, with the goal of optimising coverage and response times in future medical emergencies. This study aimed to scope the current research on dynamic ambulance relocation.

Design A scoping review was conducted using a structured search in PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science. In total, 21 papers were included.

Results Most papers described research with experimental designs involving the use of mathematical models to calculate the optimal use and temporary relocations of ambulances. The models relied on several variables, including distances, locations of hospitals, demographic-geological data, estimation of new emergencies, emergency medical services (EMSs) working hours and other data. Some studies used historic ambulance dispatching data to develop models. Only one study reported a prospective, real-time evaluation of the models and the development of technical systems. No study reported on either positive or negative patient outcomes or real-life chain effects from the dynamic relocation of ambulances.

Conclusions Current knowledge on dynamic relocation of ambulances is dominated by mathematical and technical support data that have calculated optimal locations of ambulance services based on response times and not patient outcomes. Conversely, knowledge of how patient outcomes and the working environment are affected by dynamic ambulance dispatching is lacking. This review has highlighted several gaps in the scientific coverage of the topic. The primary concern is the lack of studies reporting on patient outcomes, and the limited knowledge regarding several key factors, including the optimal use of ambulances in rural areas, turnaround times, domino effects and aspects of working environment for EMS personnel. Therefore, addressing these knowledge gaps is important in future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, 2023. Vol. 13, no 12, article id e073394
Keywords [en]
accident & emergency medicine, organisation of health services, systematic review, health services administration & management
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-110434DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-073394ISI: 001171839300004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85179899873OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-110434DiVA, id: diva2:1820768
Available from: 2023-12-18 Created: 2023-12-18 Last updated: 2024-03-20Bibliographically approved

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Kurland, LisaHöglund, ErikHugelius, Karin

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