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California County Upgrades Paramedic, Doctor Software

Ventura County will spend close to $350,000 on a new software system that officials say will do a better job of getting critical health information from paramedics to hospitals and emergency room doctors.

The county's current system for 'electronic patient care reporting' is 12 years old and needs to be updated, according to the county Health Care Agency report to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.

The board approved a contract Tuesday with Minnesota-based Image-Trend, to supply a new system at an initial cost of $342,646 with annual upkeep of $64,160.

The system will be overseen by the county Emergency Medical Services Agency and will be available to fire departments, ambulance companies, hospitals and other public and private emergency responders.

ImageTrend's software will allow a 911 operator or paramedic to enter information about a patient's condition and history and have it be available immediately to doctors where the patient will be treated. The data can be entered on wireless tablets carried by paramedics in the field - as opposed to the current system, which requires them to wait until they reach the hospital to deliver a verbal report, and to wait until they return to their dispatch center to file a written one. The current system also leaves 911 dispatchers out of the electronic loop.

'We're very fortunate here in having a very collaborative system,' said Steve Carroll, the county's emergency medical services administrator.



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