injury Treatment and Rehabilitation Accessibility Queensland Index (iTRAQI):
Pilot for Moderate-to-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
Why the research project is important
Queensland’s vast geography makes transporting an injured person to the right place for the right care at the right time very complex. Transporting trauma patients involves ambulances, helicopters, and planes to make sure people injured in rural and remote areas receive the right care quickly. If you suffer a traumatic brain injury near Townsville, for example, your access to appropriate acute care is high because Townsville University Hospital has a neurosurgical unit. But if, for example, you live in more regional/rural areas, your access to the nearest neurosurgeon is more complex. iTRAQI was developed to show this complexity in a geospatial way.
What the research seeks to do
iTRAQI shows regions in Queensland where gaps in accessible, specialised time-critical care exist. iTRAQI gives health planners information on which Queensland locations have the most access challenges when transporting patients with a potential life-threatening brain injury to the most appropriate hospital for acute care and rehabilitation. This information will allow informed decision-making regarding health system developments to be made.
What are the research outcomes/ impact
Travel time to acute care could take up to almost 9 hours even in ideal circumstances, and driving time to rehabilitation care could take up to 21 hours. Large differences in travel time were observed in each ARIA+ category, highlighting the importance of having this healthcare-access specific index. In the future, the tool can also be adapted for other serious injury types such as spinal cord injuries, burns and complex orthopaedic trauma.