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Premier Health Uses Technology to Enhance EMS Handoffs of COVID-19 Patients

DAYTON, Ohio (April 8, 2020) – Premier Health, in partnership with Pulsara, has adapted the company’s mobile communications platform – initially used for stroke patients – to help EMS agencies when they arrive with patients suspected of having COVID-19.

“EMS can now send an alert to the receiving emergency department that a suspected COVID-19 patient is in transit and the emergency team can respond with the appropriate directions to enable a safe and efficient handoff,” said Candy Skidmore, vice president of service integration for emergency, trauma, CareFlight, and EMS Center of Excellence, Premier Health.

Pulsara is a communication platform accessed through an app on any smart device that offers both convenience and patient privacy. Originally developed by physicians to improve coordination and communication essential for stroke patient assessment, an added feature now allows it to be utilized to enhance communications between EMS and emergency departments while transporting suspected COVID-19 patients.

Alerts from EMS personnel via the app go to the receiving emergency department. The alert is created with one tap of the app. The receiving facility will acknowledge the call and provide directions, such as a reminder to put a mask on a patient, or disconnect aerosolizing treatments, as well as direct them to a specific entrance or room.

This COVID-19 rapid notification system is being used at all Premier Health hospitals, allowing staff to anticipate the needs of incoming patients and enabling EMS to hand off patients seamlessly and return to service quickly.

Local agencies that currently use Pulsara include fire and/or EMS departments in Dayton, Riverside, Jefferson Township, Huber Heights, Tipp City, Vandalia, Clearcreek Township, Cedarville Township, West Alexandria, Bradford, Kettering, Spring Valley, Union, Harrison Township, Lebanon, Fairborn, New Lebanon, Union Township, Bethel Township, Brookville, St. Paris, and New Carlisle.

Premier Health adopted the Pulsara application in 2017 to enhance the communication among members of a stroke response team, which can be as large as 60 individuals. The cloud-based, mobile communication application places all members of the hospital’s stroke team – EMS providers, neurologists, CT technologists, nurses, and consulting physicians – on alert and keeps them up-to-date on a case with one tap of the app.

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