Time-Saving Technology for Improved Patient Care
For EMS patients with time-critical conditions such as stroke, STEMI, trauma or sepsis, shortening the time to treatment is the name of the game. Yet the biggest time savings EMS can create for these patients isn’t in the field, but the hospital.
That was the realization that officials at Lawrence General Hospital, in Lawrence, Mass., had when they set out to create a faster response for STEMI and cath lab patients. According to Jon Lovett, Deputy Chief of LGH EMS, the solution began with taking a hard look at the prehospital radio report – which, let’s be honest, hasn’t changed much since the days when Johnny and Roy popped open their orange-cased Apcor radio to talk to Rampart Hospital on Emergency! “It’s kind of weird [to realize] that a 12-year-old kid on the side of the street has better technology that my crews do in the ambulance,” Lovett said.
Lawrence General began a pilot with TrackEMS®, a configurable, user-friendly way for EMS professionals to securely and efficiently communicate with hospital emergency departments, cath labs, STEMI, stroke, trauma and sepsis teams. Information, EKGs, pictures and videos entered by field EMS teams into a secure smartphone app then appears in a dashboard in the receiving hospital in a standardized format. (While TrackEMS can eliminate the need for a radio or phone report, jurisdictions, such as where LGH EMS operates, may still require a radio or phone report. In LGH EMS’ case, this requirement can be fulfilled simply by calling in to confirm that the TrackEMS report was received.)
Pre-Registration Efficiency: “On arrival, patient registration is printed out and they meet us at the room,” Lovett said.
Faster Critical Exams: “A year ago, if we called a stroke alert, [Neurology would say] ‘Let the ER doctor look at it and he’ll alert us if he needs us,’” Lovett said. “Now, if I do a stroke video, they want to see it…they get to watch our stroke assessment. We can call in any one of the 7 services within our hospital and have them at the patient’s bedside on arrival.”
Flexibility for Unusual Patients: TrackEMS lets LGHEMS activate multiple teams (e.g., stroke, sepsis and STEMI) for a single patient, providing critical information to each in-hospital team.
Reduction in False Activations: Real-time consults with specialists in the hospital allow confirmation of EKGs and other conversations that result in collaborative decisions to activate alerts for trauma, STEMI, etc.
Faster Turnaround: Not having to wait for patients to be registered and having the TrackEMS report available to hospital staff allow crews to go back in service far faster.