Nashville FD, medical center testing automated documentation system for ER handoffs

The system generates patient care records based on paramedics’ motions through wearable sensors


By News Staff

NASHVILLE — The Nashville Fire Department and Vanderbilt University Medical Center are collaborating to test an automated clinical documentation system meant to make handoffs from ambulances to emergency rooms more efficient.  

The fire department and medical center will participate in a U.S. Department of Defense-funded study of the Automated Sensing Clinical Documentation system, which generates patient care records based on sensors worn on paramedics’ arms and wrists, according to Health Data Management.

The Nashville Fire Department and Vanderbilt University Medical Center will test an automated documentation system that generates patient care records from sensors worn by paramedics. (Photo/Nashville Fire Department Facebook)
The Nashville Fire Department and Vanderbilt University Medical Center will test an automated documentation system that generates patient care records from sensors worn by paramedics. (Photo/Nashville Fire Department Facebook)

“Administering CPR, intubating someone or applying medication all have some signatures in terms of accelerations of the paramedics’ hands that can be used to infer – by analyzing that data – what procedures they are doing at any given point in time,” said project lead and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics Daniel Fabbri, of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Emergency department physicians can see the sensor data in real time to know what procedures have been performed on the patient before they arrive. The system works in the background and uses accelerometers and machine learning to generate and analyze the data.

“To think that a civilian paramedic or a military medic’s hand and body movements can generate a medical record or alert the hospital of an incoming patient’s condition is phenomenal,” said Nashville FD EMS Quality Improvement Officer Joaquin Toon. “Nashville Fire Department was excited to partner with Vanderbilt Emergency Medicine in this research.”

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