Understanding diversity among prehospital care delivery systems around the world

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2005 Feb;23(1):99-114. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2004.09.007.


Understanding the diversity in EMS systems around the world isa daunting challenge. It is difficult to describe or categorize these complex systems, but examination of whether a country has an informal or formal system is a starting point. Further understanding of access within the system allows additional insight into the care available. Personnel, training,equipment, communication systems, and service provider levels offer clear information regarding the sophistication of the system. The focus of an EMS system can help gauge its development and role in the community. Clear descriptions of each of these dimensions allows for better communication and understanding of a country's prehospital care system. This dimensional analysis enhances communication regarding the existing system and provides an opportunity to understand where improvements and interventions might be effective.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Diversity
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Global Health*
  • Health Planning / methods*
  • Health Planning / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational
  • Program Development
  • United States