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Wash. County EMS Use Data-Sharing in Fight Against COVID-19


Whatcom County in Washington has rolled out a new software application from Julota to help county EMS providers, healthcare workers and law enforcement share information about COVID-19 screening and infection in the community.

The new application is part of a larger platform from Julota that Whatcom County has been rolling out. The platform enables separate systems in a community, such as healthcare, EMS, law enforcement and social services, to share information securely, with patient consent. The county recently adopted the software to make it easier for Whatcom County to offer community paramedicine services and mobile integrated healthcare, and to bridge a gap between systems that don’t always share data but are all working toward health and safety in the community.

“This application creates a central repository for various agencies involved in the control and treatment of COVID-19 in the community,” said Jeremy Morton, Whatcom County EMS Analyst. “It gives us a resource for incident command so we know what has been done, when and by which provider.”

With both emergency services and healthcare systems stretched thin, there is no room for miscommunication, duplication of effort or missing information. The new COVID-19 module from Julota allows Whatcom County to do consistent and thorough coronavirus screening for every community member that uses emergency services or receives community paramedicine services.

In addition to asking COVID-19 symptom questions, the assessment prompts EMS providers to assess underlying conditions that might put a person at additional risk. The assessment also collects the information required by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s COVID-19 Person Under Investigation (PUI) and Case Report form.

If a person is recommended for testing, the software tracks when and by whom the test was administered, and also tracks test results. A positive test result will trigger a “COVID response service,” which prompts the community paramedicine team to follow up with the person and ensure that they receive needed services and are monitored for changes in severity.

The software also makes it possible to do essential record keeping outside of the walls of a clinic or hospital, for temporary care sites.

“COVID-19 screening can be done securely with a tablet using this module from Julota,” said Morton. “It’s user-friendly, which means staff can be quickly trained and the screening can be used at a drive-through testing site or community care site that extends the capacity of the hospital,” said Morton.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the press release above belong solely to the company/vendor/author and do not necessarily reflect those of EMS World or HMP.

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