CONCORD, Ca. — One day after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a global health emergency and pandemic, Beyond Lucid Technologies has announced that it is appending its MEDIVIEW BEACON Prehospital Health Information Exchange with the ability to receive, sort, and aggregate prehospital (Fire & EMS) encounters involving patients suspected of suffering from, or being exposed to, the deadly coronavirus.
The addition of COVID-19-related data elements to the MEDIVIEW BEACON Prehospital Health Information Exchange — in accordance with instructions from federal resource partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NHTSA Office of EMS, as well as several state EMS offices — provides a landing point for such data on the receiving hospital side of the patient handoff. Such information will be accessible by emergency department (ED) personnel in as little as 30 seconds following documentation in the field using any electronic patient care record system (ePCR) that complies with the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS).
Fire & EMS charting companies need only transmit the identified COVID-19-related data points within the context of a standard prehospital patient care record, to the MEDIVIEW BEACON Prehospital H.I.E. using a standard NEMSIS web service. No custom engineering is required. Nine (9) ePCR systems — including some of the most widely deployed nationwide — have submitted data through the platform in the past. Therefore, hospital and public health access can be implemented in most communities in as little as 24 hours, and they will be able to convey the patient’s actual diagnosis back to the transporting agency.
According to the federal Office of EMS: “The US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance for clinical evaluation of persons under investigation for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The guidance is intended to assist health departments and clinicians when determining whether a patient should be tested for COVID-19. The guidelines were expanded to now include a person with a fever and severe acute lower respiratory illness (e.g., pneumonia, ARDS) requiring hospitalization for whom there is not an alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., influenza), even when no source of exposure has been identified.” An interim list of supplemental COVID-19 related data elements was shared by the federal Office of EMS on February 28, 2020, and is available via the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/icd/icd10cm.htm.
According to Jonathon Feit, Co-Founder & Chief Executive of Beyond Lucid Technologies: “Over 115 hospital systems across the U.S. are connected to the MEDIVIEW BEACON Prehospital HIE network for receipt of Fire & EMS records prior to a patient’s arrival at the ED. In the coming weeks and beyond, many will see patients who were exposed to this coronavirus. Appending coronavirus-related data elements to our interoperability portal offers these institutions and public health agencies a chance for heads-up preparation without requiring field crews to change their behavior. These data elements can also help care providers distinguish patients with possible COVID-19 infection from those who are experiencing “lookalike” illnesses such as pneumonia or respiratory infections unrelated to the coronavirus — thereby helping to ID potential exposures where required protective equipment went unused. We believe it is insufficient to capture a few data points: the insights must be shareable with others who have a stake in both patient and community outcomes, using formats that they can consume.”