The GEM-CARN group first convened at the World Health Organization (WHO) Global ECS meeting that took place in Geneva in February 2019. This initial meeting was generously funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund, WHO, and the American Heart Association. Stakeholders from 12 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and three high-income countries carried out a phased research prioritisation exercise to identify and rank priority research questions that could inform efforts to strengthen emergency care in LMICs, drawing from multi-country experience. While there have been prior emergency care research priority setting exercises oriented to the global context, these have largely focused on general frameworks, on logistical and ethical challenges of conducting emergency care research in LMICs, or on consensus-based prioritisation of quality indicators for emergency care provision in LMICs, rather than identifying specific research questions.
Seven priority areas for research in LMICs were identified during the phased prioritisation exercise:
identification of context-relevant emergency care indicators
barriers to effective emergency care
accuracy and impact of triage tools
potential quality improvement via registries
characteristics of people seeking emergency care
best practices for staff training and retention
cost effectiveness of critical care
Addressing these seven research priorities can drive the development of global research capacity in this high-impact, under-studied area and inform efforts to strengthen emergency care systems in limited-resource settings.