Rural Safety, Health, and Emergency Response

Principal Investigator(s):

Thomas Horan, Former Researcher, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project summary:

In response to the SAFETEA-LU legislative mandate to assess local community needs in order to improve access to mobile emergency treatment, researchers from the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety focused on technological developments affecting rural safety and the issues surrounding their deployment. In collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, researchers analyzed emergency processes and data and the flow of information in order to understand system performance across informatics providers (e.g., OnStar), 9-1-1, medical dispatch, emergency responder, and trauma center organizations. Their goal was to develop an information framework that could act as the "gold standard" for end-to-end information sharing and performance assessment in rural areas across the United States, as it is essential to share information about the patient, the nature and type of accident, health care interventions provided on the scene, specialties and capabilities of care centers, availability of resources, and system performance. This work helped lay the foundation for more advanced information systems that will enable more efficient use of emergency resources, better medical decision-making in the field and in the hospital, and improved emergency response in rural areas. This research builds on several years of prior research sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF Award #0535273), as well as the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) and the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Institute at the University of Minnesota, and the project's findings will aid in the development of a set of national implications.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2007112
  • Start date: 09/2006
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Rural Transportation, Safety