This editorial supplement shows how advances in technology are linking prehospital and hospital teams in an unprecedented, seamless manner. The result: better coordination of care, better resuscitation results and better evaluation and validation of what we are doing for our patients.
In “Where’s My Tricorder?,” a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department administrator explains how his agency, in concert with multiple hospitals and technology companies, is linking its electronic patient care record system with hospital data systems. This will allow the hospitals to see what is occurring in the field—as it is occurring—and reciprocate by allowing the prehospital sector to later see what was done for their patient, as well as the patient’s final discharge diagnosis. This pioneering effort could pave the way for improved systems and cooperation between EMS and hospital providers nationwide.
In “Second-by-Second Data,” Montgomery County (Texas) Hospital District officials explain how making the switch to the monitoring, analysis and transmission of data on a second-by-second basis has enabled them to see trends, take faster corrective treatment action and continuously evaluate and improve their system.
In “Surviving SCA at Sky Harbor,” we look at how the Phoenix Fire Department has achieved an incredible 75% survival rate for cardiac arrests through coordinated AED deployment, training and increased bystander participation in sudden cardiac arrest resuscitations.
In “Resuscitation in the City,” Fire Department of New York (FDNY) EMS Medical Director John Freese, MD, discusses the five key aspects his system has focused on to improve its resuscitations in the field. He also points out how, through use of the HeartStart MRx, the department’s quality-CPR technology and the Event Review Pro software, the FDNY is now able to review these important parameters for each resuscitation and rapidly make changes when necessary.
And finally, with therapeutic hypothermic (TH) being shown to be effective and safe when used in post-arrest settings, “Chilled to the Bone,” takes a look at a study underway that’s evaluating the effect of TH and endovascular cooling before reperfusion in patients suffering ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI).
If the study finds that cooling can reduce heart damage in STEMI patients, it could chart the course for future prehospital cooling therapy, further allowing field care to continue to drive the course of care for cardiac patients.
This article originally appeared in an editorial supplement to the September 2011 JEMS as “Seamless Care Becoming a Reality.”