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To examine the effects of age, race, gender, and insurance status on utilization and times-to-transport (TTT) for interhospital air medical transfers from rural hospitals to tertiary care centers.
A retrospective review of interhospital transport records. The TTT was examined as a function of age, gender, race, and insurance status using the Student's t-test for unpaired samples. The Exact Binomial Test (alpha error at 0.05) was used to compare the observed versus expected transport rates for non-whites.
A total of 268 patient transfers from hospitals within a two-county region in central Pennsylvania to tertiary care centers was analyzed. All records with sufficient demographic, TTT, or insurance data were included. Absence of data was the only exclusion.
The TTT (mean ± SD) was longer (2666 ± 3940 minutes (min.) versus 619 ± 909 min., respectively) for adult than pediatric patients (p <O1), and (2588 ± 4041 min. versus 640 ± 1301 min., respectively) for insured versus uninsured patients (p <.O1). The observed proportion of non-whites transported was less than expected (.41% versus 2.1 %) based on the proportion of non-whites in the region (p <.O5).
The TTT was longer for adults than for children and for the insured than the uninsured. Non-whites were transported less frequently than predicted.
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