Software improves efficiency of pre-hospital treatment
The transition from paper to electronic reporting for teams in the field is assured
By Michael Cayes
This article is provided by Mooring Tech, Inc. and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of EMS1.
When first responders show up at the scene of an accident, a heart attack, or crime scene, they are trained to begin immediately triaging all parties on site. Without knowledge of preexisting conditions and other important health factors, EMT’s rank the level of treatment needed and the immediacy with which it is needed. Sometimes they have assistance in the form of medical bracelets, and the presence of knowledgeable family members. Usually, they are at the mercy of time and are often forced to make split-second decisions that could save or end a patient’s life.
The transition from paper to electronic reporting for teams in the field is assured. There seems to be no opposition to medical response teams sending patient information and insurance to the hospital digitally. The issue is with the flow of information from hospital systems to people in the field. Even if health groups were willing to allow remote access to their patient records, areas with multiple hospitals are unlikely to have integrated software platforms.
So for now, the impetus to provide necessary medical information is on citizens. The implementation of the ICE (In Case of Emergency) system, where people designate an easy-to-find emergency contact on their phone, over the past decade has been helpful. Now a company called Humetrix has developed an application for the next phase of emergency information gathering. The ICEBlueButton app displays a QR code for each person with a profile in the app. So one person can keep their personal records, as well as those of their children, or other dependents such as elderly parents. When an emergency happens, responders can scan the QR code for the victim, gather the given information, and create a more informed treatment plan. Also, the user’s location is sent to designated emergency contacts any time the QR code is scanned.
As mentioned previously, there was a need for emergency responders to be able to send information from the response site to the hospital before arrival. Sending insurance and preliminary treatment information over makes check-in and processing much faster. To this end, Beyond Lucid developed software called Mediview that transmits reports wirelessly to the destination ER within 30 seconds. Mediview presents itself as “interactive paper”, and comes with many functions besides information-taking such as on-line and off-line GPS. When used within data or wireless network, Mediview can even be used to give an ETA to the destination hospital. The software is compatible with Windows OS and can be used on mobile devices. Some rugged tablets, such as the Toughpad FZ-G1 from Panasonic, seamlessly integrate their hardware features with Mediview’s capabilities. The Toughpad offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile network connection options, as well as internal GPS. It even has an optional stylus that can make the transition from jotting information on paper to putting it on “interactive paper” easier. Together, software options like ICEBlueButton and Mediview and hardware like the ToughPad are making it possible for EMS responders to give more accurate and informed care.