N.C. Uses Wi-Fi System for Patient Care Reporting

 

 
 
 

Ann-Marie Lindstrom | | Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Wi-Fi is becoming as common as cell phones. Starbucks', McDonald’s and airplanes now offer Wi-Fi. Ambulances are joining the communication innovation, too. The JEMS 200-City Survey found that as many 86% of respondents say they're using electronic patient care records and sending data to hospitals while en route.

Rowan County (N.C.) has a wireless system that starts with dispatch and goes on through billing. The county’s Chief of Emergency Services Frank Thomason says dispatch and routing information, along with maps, are automatically relayed to an ambulance when a call comes in.

Each of the county's 11 ambulances have a Wi-Fi access point that makes them mobile hotspots. This allows direct communication between onboard laptops and cardiac monitors. Patient care reports and vital signs are instantly sent to the hospital, allowing hospital staff to be ready when the patient rolls in.

“We've seen a real difference,” says Thomason. “We've had numerous cardiac cases where the cath lab is ready when the ambulance arrives.”

Submitting electronic patient care records to their third-party billing company has increased the county’s billing collections. The information goes to the company more quickly and more accurately. Thomason says there’s an overall decrease in documentation error rate.

Mini-Cams for EMS?
Another technology that may appear in the EMS market is a personal video camera, made by TASER International. It’s currently used by law enforcement. The small camera is attached to a helmet or worn over the ear to capture what the officer sees. This camera could have applications for EMS too. For example, it might be used for documentation for training purposes.

TASER spokesman Steve Tuttle says, “I don't think that industry is ready for it yet.” EMS agencies have contacted TASER, but Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is the stumbling block. Tuttle thinks there may be a way to deal with that as the technology advances.

 

 




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Technology, Wi-Fi, Rowan County, patient care report

 

Ann-Marie Lindstrom is a JEMS contributing editor.

BROWSE FULL BIO & ARTICLES >

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Baltimore Man Rescued from Building Collapse

Rowhouse collapse traps a worker in the basement area.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

A Night with Wisconsin’s Busiest Medic Unit

Ride along one night with the paramedics of MED 5.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Patient Dies in West Virginia Ambulance Rollover

Marion County Rescue Squad crew is injured in collision.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Rescue Volunteers in Syria

White Helmets group at work during fighting.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Boulder Pins Colorado Hiker

Wilderness EMS team frees trapped hiker.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

North Dakota Oilfield Medics

Tactics used in offshore platforms tailored to the remote areas.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >