Q: Can quick emergency response times improve car accident survivability?
Emergency Medical Services, or EMS, is a great deal more than the ambulance that transports you from the accident scene to a medical center. From offering on-scene care and treatment to en route care and transportation to a hospital or trauma center, EMS plays an important role in each accident, often greatly improving survivability in even the worst accidents.
Beyond prompt medical care and safe transportation, EMS actually serves a much larger purpose in driving safety—namely, the prevention of accidents. While it seems strange that medical care could translate to accident prevention, one of the key functions of EMS is reporting accident data. When you call 911, EMS notes when, where, and how your accident occurred. Reporting and disseminating this data can improve accident response times as well as improve training and care.
This data is collected and evaluated through electronic patient records. Much of the country has adopted uniform EMS data collection to better facilitate system improvements, but Texas is one of only eight states that has yet to use this system. Fortunately, Texas is in the process of adopting uniform EMS data.
How EMS Crash Data Benefits You
What will this do for you once it is in effect? The state will be able to identify the highest-risk crash locations as well as possible causes and preventions of common wrecks. Using crash data as an injury prevention method can save both the state and motorists money for medical care, as well as improve transportation safety for drivers and pedestrians, alike.
More importantly, uniform EMS data will help keep you safe in the event of a crash. With clearer communication and crash data, EMS can arrive at your accident scene in less time with greater knowledge and information on your condition. This translates to an increased rate of survivability for you and your vehicle’s occupants, which is always a desirable outcome!