SPOKANE, Wash., -- There's an app for that. Just launched, the new app places Northwest MedStar on alert when air transport may be needed. MedStar Alert, one of the first smartphone applications in the nation developed by a critical care transport provider for EMS providers, launched as part of EMS appreciation week celebrations. A free EMS application, MedStar Alert instantly alerts Northwest MedStar and reduces flight response time should air transport be needed. Launching the helicopter goes through normal emergency request channels.
When at a scene event such as a car accident or other medical emergency, EMS providers can use the app to instantly send their GPS coordinates to Northwest MedStar's Communication Center and determine availability and estimated time of arrival (ETA) of the nearest helicopter. This alert places the flight crew on standby and decreases response time if air transport is needed. "Most first responders carry a cell phone at all times," said Howard Johnson III, division chief of Spokane County Fire District #4 in Chattaroy, WA. "This is an innovative way to make that mobile device aid in the care of our customers by helping reduce our 'on scene' time within the 'golden hour'. This is a great app."
The app also allows for ongoing communication with NW MedStar as needed, and includes a camera function for sending EKGs, photos and descriptions of patient injuries. "EMS providers are first on scene ensuring patients receive immediate care," said Eveline Bisson, director of Northwest MedStar. "MedStar Alert provides an additional communication tool that reduces critical care transport time and allows EMS providers to focus on their patient." Other features of the application include landing zone information, patient packaging instructions, emergency protocols and other education and reference information.
All public safety providers can utilize MedStar Alert. Registration is required and once authorized, the user receives full activation and functionality of the app. If a message comes into NW MedStar from the field, NW MedStar knows right away who is contacting them.
This application is available on both the Apple and Android markets for both tablet devices and smartphones. EMS providers are encouraged to visit their app store, download the free app and register.
Northwest MedStar, a Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) accredited critical care transport program, provides high-quality care and transport to over 3,500 patients each year and is committed to serving the people who live, work and play in the Inland Northwest region. All flights are conducted by, and operational control over all aircraft is exercised solely by Metro Aviation, Inc. Northwest MedStar also offers a membership program that shields people from emergency air transport costs not covered by health insurance. For more information about Northwest MedStar or the membership program, visit www.nwmedstar.org.