Next Article in Journal
Perceived Risk Factors for Suicide among Nepalese Migrant Workers in South Korea
Previous Article in Journal
Associations between Indoor Environmental Quality and Infectious Diseases Knowledge, Beliefs and Practices of Hotel Workers in Wuhan, China
Article

Estimating the Burden of Alcohol on Ambulance Callouts through Development and Validation of an Algorithm Using Electronic Patient Records

1
Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
2
Business Intelligence Department, Scottish Ambulance Service, Edinburgh EH12 9EB, UK
3
Faculty of Health Sciences & Sport, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK
4
School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jimmy T. Efird
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6363; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126363
Received: 16 April 2021 / Revised: 4 June 2021 / Accepted: 8 June 2021 / Published: 11 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
Background: Alcohol consumption places a significant burden on emergency services, including ambulance services, which often represent patients’ first, and sometimes only, contact with health services. We aimed to (1) improve the assessment of this burden on ambulance services in Scotland using a low-cost and easy to implement algorithm to screen free-text in electronic patient record forms (ePRFs), and (2) present estimates on the burden of alcohol on ambulance callouts in Scotland. Methods: Two paramedics manually reviewed 5416 ePRFs to make a professional judgement of whether they were alcohol-related, establishing a gold standard for assessing our algorithm performance. They also extracted all words or phrases relating to alcohol. An automatic algorithm to identify alcohol-related callouts using free-text in EPRs was developed using these extracts. Results: Our algorithm had a specificity of 0.941 and a sensitivity of 0.996 in detecting alcohol-related callouts. Applying the algorithm to all callout records in Scotland in 2019, we identified 86,780 (16.2%) as alcohol-related. At weekends, this percentage was 18.5%. Conclusions: Alcohol-related callouts constitute a significant burden on the Scottish Ambulance Service. Our algorithm is significantly more sensitive than previous methods used to identify alcohol-related ambulance callouts. This approach and the resulting data have potential for the evaluation of alcohol policy interventions as well as for conducting wider epidemiological research. View Full-Text
Keywords: ambulance callouts; burden of alcohol; algorithm development; routine health records; paramedics; Scotland ambulance callouts; burden of alcohol; algorithm development; routine health records; paramedics; Scotland
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Manca, F.; Lewsey, J.; Waterson, R.; Kernaghan, S.M.; Fitzpatrick, D.; Mackay, D.; Angus, C.; Fitzgerald, N. Estimating the Burden of Alcohol on Ambulance Callouts through Development and Validation of an Algorithm Using Electronic Patient Records. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6363. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126363

AMA Style

Manca F, Lewsey J, Waterson R, Kernaghan SM, Fitzpatrick D, Mackay D, Angus C, Fitzgerald N. Estimating the Burden of Alcohol on Ambulance Callouts through Development and Validation of an Algorithm Using Electronic Patient Records. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(12):6363. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126363

Chicago/Turabian Style

Manca, Francesco, Jim Lewsey, Ryan Waterson, Sarah M. Kernaghan, David Fitzpatrick, Daniel Mackay, Colin Angus, and Niamh Fitzgerald. 2021. "Estimating the Burden of Alcohol on Ambulance Callouts through Development and Validation of an Algorithm Using Electronic Patient Records" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 12: 6363. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126363

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop