International journal of health geographics 2018 01 1217(1) 1 doi 10.1186/s12942-018-0121-4
The World Health Organization refers to stroke, the second most frequent cause of death in the world, in terms of pandemic. Present treatments are only effective within precise time windows. Only 10% of thrombolysis patients are eligible. Late assessment of the patient resulting from admission and lack of knowledge of the symptoms is the main explanation of lack of eligibility.
The aim is the measurement of the time of access to treatment facilities for stroke victims, using ambulances (firemen ambulances or EMS ambulances) and private car. The method proposed analyses the potential geographic accessibility of stroke care infrastructure in different scenarios. The study allows better considering of the issues inherent to an area: difficult weather conditions, traffic congestion and failure to respect the distance limits of emergency transport.
Depending on the scenario, access times vary considerably within the same commune. For example, between the first and the second scenario for cities in the north of Rhône county, there is a 10 min difference to the nearest Primary Stroke Center (PSC). For the first scenario, 90% of the population is 20 min away of the PSC and 96% for the second scenario. Likewise, depending on the modal vector (fire brigade or emergency medical service), overall accessibility from the emergency call to admission to a Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) can vary by as much as 15 min.
The setting up of the various scenarios and modal comparison based on the calculation of overall accessibility makes this a new method for calculating potential access to care facilities. It is important to take into account the specific pathological features and the availability of care facilities for modelling. This method is innovative and recommendable for measuring accessibility in the field of health care. This study makes possible to highlight the patients’ extension of care delays. Thus, this can impact the improvement of patient care and rethink the healthcare organization. Stroke is addressed here but it is applicable to other pathologies.