Geographic distance to pediatric surgical care

Geographic distance to pediatric surgical care

March 05, 2019
Operating Room Pediatrics
From the March 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Our data shows that socioeconomic and ethnic factors may affect distance to care, potentially causing inequities in access to pediatric surgical care. No prior work has utilized our methodology, which has proved to be a reliable method to continually assess distance to care as population densities change along with pediatric surgeons’ practice patterns. Additionally, a focus on resource allocation may be achieved through this data to ensure equitable distribution of pediatric surgical care in the future, as well as provision of support to those families who may be at an economic hardship for long distance travel. Community outreach clinics that decrease distance to care have been employed at numerous locations throughout the country.

Additionally, there have been recommendations for a reevaluation of the pediatric surgery training paradigm that may include training of acute care pediatric surgeons and community based pediatric surgeons, previously presented by Dr. Mary Fallat in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery. These abbreviated training pipelines may improve access to initial pediatric surgical care while maintaining specialty care at regional centers of excellence. We look forward to reevaluation of our data using the 2020 census data to see if there is any appreciable change and how pediatric surgery responds to population shifts throughout the country.

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About the authors: Christian McEvoy LT, MC, USN is a surgical resident at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Portsmouth, VA. Robert Ricca, CAPT, MC, USN is a pediatric surgeon and director of surgical services at the Naval Medical Center.

The views expressed in this article reflect the results of research conducted by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.

From the authors: We are military service members. This work was prepared as part of my official duties. Title 17 U.S.C. 105 provides that “Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government.” Title 17 U.S.C. 101 defines a United States Government work as a work prepared by a military service member or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties.




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