Prehospital Emergency Care Records Now Captured in Electronic Health Exchange

Rochester RHIO connects EMS records to emergency departments and community physicians


Rochester, N.Y. – Healthcare providers now will be able to see essential health information about prehospital treatment captured by emergency responders. By partnering with area ambulance services, the Rochester Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) has enhanced its capabilities to allow providers to receive and disseminate electronic prehospital care documents (ePCDs) quickly and easily.

“The system affords the primary care or ED physician the opportunity to review the important events that transpired in the seconds and minutes following their patient’s call to 9-1-1,” said Jeremy Cushman, MD, EMS Medical Director of the Monroe-Livingston region.

Cushman and local emergency physicians worked with the RHIO and EMS agencies to develop a consistent clinical format for ePCDs. Before the development of ePCDs, clinical information was blended with ambulance-specific information.

emsCharts, the electronic data vendor for Greece and Henrietta volunteer ambulance agencies, helped pioneer the functionality of these ePCDs. Working with the two ambulance agencies, emsCharts tested and validated the interoperability of feeding ePCDs into a patient’s Virtual Health Record (VHR).

Research has shown that hospitalizations are reduced when a VHR is accessed in the ED. The new availability of ePCDs streamlines care when a patient is transported from a rural ED to a higher level of care at an urban hospital.

The RHIO has developed additional features to make the RHIO’s health information exchange easier to use during emergency care. These features include an ED landing page once logged into the RHIO, and instant access to emergent images, such as CT scans and X-rays, from medical imaging providers.

“We have many people and organizations to thank for helping us get this valuable service up and running,” said Ted Kremer, executive director of the Rochester RHIO. “Thanks to collaboration with area EMS agencies and vendors, in addition to several volunteer ambulance agencies who participate with the RHIO, health information from 85 percent of the Monroe-Livingston County region will now be available on the system. The Greece and Henrietta volunteer ambulance agencies, and their vendor, emsCharts, played an integral role in piloting this service. We also greatly appreciate the work of our community’s ED physicians in helping us develop a useful ePCD format.”

Kremer noted that the RHIO looks forward to connecting the rest of its 13 county service area to the ePCD system over time.

About Rochester RHIO

Rochester RHIO is a secure electronic health information exchange serving authorized medical providers and consenting patients in Monroe, Allegany, Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties in Upstate New York.

The service allows a medical care team to share records across institutions and practices, making patient information available wherever and whenever needed to provide the best care. Patients benefit from fewer repeated tests, easier second opinions, a reduced risk of mistakes caused by poor handwriting or incomplete records, and more informed care during office visits and emergencies.

Physicians and patients can learn more about Rochester RHIO by visiting RochesterRHIO.org or by calling 877/865-RHIO (7446).