Miami Valley Hospital and its sister emergency rooms for the first time can share real time information between emergency providers and first responders in the field thanks to new technology.
"This is groundbreaking that now it is including EMS or pre-hospital care in that continuum of care that's reflected in the record. So its bridging hospital care and pre-hospital care in a way that's never been done," said Dr. Randy Marriott, medical director of Premier Health's EMS Center of Excellence.
The major change at Premier Health's ERs and hospitals—Miami Valley, Atrium Medical Center and Upper Valley Medical Center—comes at a time when both major hospital networks in the Dayton area are making major updates to their health data systems.
Kettering Health Network just opened a $10 million command center that centralizes the network's transportation, patient bed placement and path of discharge.
The software used by the new command center means workers can view the status of every patient bed in real time in every Kettering Health Network hospital and medical facility.
Premier's new technology will make patient handoffs quicker and means patient information can be accessed in near real time by hospital workers. There used to be delays, sometimes for a few days, before the information was loaded into the electronic health records system at Premier, which meant the information was of no use to the people providing immediate care to that patient in the hospital.
Marriott said the information the first responder gathers in the field is a critical piece of information for ER physicians. Under the new system, he said patients are helped by both the physicians and EMTs having better information.
"Patients win in both of these areas. They win by the treatment physician having immediate access to information that was gained in the pre-hospital arena and then the EMS provider and paramedics, they gain the knowledge of patients' follow-ups so they can better adjust their skill," Marriott said.
Premier's software change affects the thousands of patients who visit the health networks busy emergency centers throughout the region, including Miami Valley Hospital which has the busiest ER in the region and is the region's only Level 1 trauma center, which takes the highest level of traumas.
Miami Valley Hospital's main campus reported 90,380 visits in 2016.
Premier said its cost for the new system was "fairly negligible." The system integrates EMS charts into EPIC, which is Premier Health's electronic medical records system.
Premier Health's new tech is now in a six-month pilot program. The first group of EMS agencies in Middletown, Brookville, Monroe, New Jasper, and Tipp City began the week of Jan. 28. Now Dayton Fire, Englewood, Trenton and Union Township Miami County have joined the pilot program.
In addition to hospital caregivers receiving pre-hospital information, first responders will also receive information regarding the health of the patients whom they transported.
Sharing data also helps fire departments and EMS agencies know the outcome of their efforts. The ability for emergency medical technicians and paramedics to receive feedback on the hospital outcome for their patients will enhance patient care in the field.
The new interface allows first responders to directly enter medical information collected out in the field or during transport into a patient's electronic medical record.
"Everything just speeds up the process ... it's so much faster," said Dominika Kozlowski, firefighter and paramedic instructor with Dayton Fire.
The change to make record sharing more convenient for first responders comes at a time when the number of emergency departments in the region has been growing and competitor Kettering Health Network has been adding more ER locations.