How Integrated Patient Care Technologies Can Empower EMS

September 29, 2017

When minutes matter, the ability to quickly exchange and integrate data across healthcare professions, facilities, and support systems can make all the difference in a patient’s survival.

But nowhere is that interchange more challenging than with emergency medical services (EMS). When they arrive on the scene, paramedics must quickly assess a patient’s condition and make life-saving or life-changing decisions, usually without the benefit of health records that are readily available somewhere else in the system.

And they often lack simple, seamless tools to transfer a complete, up-to-the-minute record of care, allowing hospitals to deliver a seamless transition from ambulance to the emergency room.

Unique Challenges for an Essential Service

The unique challenges EMS technicians face as an essential component of the healthcare ecosystems are highlighted in a special report, Emergency Medical Services: New Roles, New Tools.

They lack access to information, at a moment when that information is arguably more important than ever. “Paramedics see patients briefly and when they are in no condition to provide complete, accurate medical histories,” the report notes. And their limited access to health information exchanges “makes it difficult to collect details on crucial factors such as recent medical treatments, medications, and allergies.”

They also lack a “simple, foolproof way” to share essential information and updates with the hospital. “To make sure patients get the care they need while eliminating the extra costs that arise from redundant procedures, EMS agencies and hospitals must communicate and collaborate effectively.”

New Demands Call for New EMS Data Systems

Against that backdrop, some EMS agencies are already embracing an expanded scope of practice that only reinforces the need for data interoperability.

“In some communities, paramedics provide healthcare services in patients’ homes—for example, conducting follow-up visits with patients who were recently discharged from hospitals,” the Infor special report notes. “In other areas, paramedics play a crucial role in community medicine, helping citizens monitor their blood sugar or reminding parents to update their children’s immunizations.”

All of which underscores the need for an integrated data platform like Infor’s Cloverleaf Integration and Information Exchange Suite that enables EMS to manage and exchange crucial patient data while keeping careful track of their own activities and costs.

Innovative organizations like MedStar, the EMS and mobile integrated healthcare provider for Fort Worth, Texas, and 14 neighboring cities, is leading the way, effectively sharing information with physicians and hospitals to ultimately help provide the best patient care.

In this customer snapshot, MedStar shares how they are using Infor Cloverleaf Integration Suite to assess and treat patients faster. “Infor truly shares our vision for providing efficient, reliable, and cost-effective emergency medical services to the community,” says Doug Hooten, CEO, MedStar Mobile Health Care.

“With Infor Cloverleaf, we’re now able to quickly and accurately convey patient information to and from physicians and other care providers as we all coordinate care for our patients in and out of the hospital. This not only creates the potential for boosting the efficiency of the medical treatment and helps save lives but also adds value for MedStar’s healthcare partners as we help lead the transformation.”

Dr. Kurt Steward, Vice President, Public Sector, Infor
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