Objectives: In South Korea, injury is a public health problem due to its high incidence and high mortality. To improve emergency medical systems, the government announced plans to increase the emergency medical resources for each region. This study investigated the association between regional emergency medical resources and mortality during hospitalization in severely injured inpatients. Methods: To analyse mortality for severely injured inpatients, we used the Korean National Hospital Discharge In-depth Survey data, consisting of 18,621 hospitalizations from 2005- 2012. Generalized estimating equations were analysed to examine the association between mortality during hospitalization and both individual and regional variables. Results: Mortality during hospitalization occurred in 913 (4.9%) cases. Patients in regions with a higher number of emergency departments (odds ratio [OR] = 0.94, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.91-0.98), a higher number of ambulances (OR = 0.99, 95% CI: 0.98-0.99), and a higher number of registered nurses per emergency department (OR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.83-0.94) had a lower risk of mortality during hospitalization. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that regional emergency medical resources are associated with a lower risk of mortality during hospitalization in severely injured patients. Thus, health care policymakers need to determine the proper distribution of emergency medical resources for each region and the function of emergency departments to provide a superior quality of emergency medical services to patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Emergency Medicine