Miami Valley Hospital First to Pilot Stroke App with Area EMS Squads

Premier Pulse     August 2017

Miami Valley Hospital, together with three local EMS departments, is piloting Pulsara, a new smart-device app that is expected to increase coordinated care for stroke victims and significantly cut the time it takes to reverse potential brain damage. Miami Valley is the first hospital in Southwest Ohio to pilot the device. Pulsara is a cloud-based communication application that will place all members of the hospital's stroke team – EMS, neurologists, CAT scan technologists, nurses and consulting physicians – on alert and keep them up-to-date on the case with one tap of the app by EMS crews. The instant coordination of care could buy more time for patients experiencing a stroke. The ability to treat them with clot-busting medication or interventional care is limited to just hours after symptoms begin, and outcomes are improved by more rapid treatment.

Research has shown that the use of Pulsara results in a 46 percent improvement in door-to-needle time, the time it takes between a patient's arrival at the emergency department and the team's ability to administer treatment. Miami Valley has partnered with Dayton Fire Department, Riverside Fire Department and Jefferson Township Fire Department to pilot the app. Each jurisdiction's squads were trained in April and are excited about the potential for patient care.

“The most exciting thing is that everyone will be on the same page almost instantly as new information becomes available,” said John Terry, MD, director of inpatient stroke care at Miami Valley Hospital. “The efficiency of stroke care can be affected by the time it takes to bring every member of the team up-to-date, and our ability to determine what type of care the patient can receive.”

Currently, EMS crews call in stroke cases to one contact who then calls different individuals on the team. Each touch point takes time and involves verbally relaying information about the patient’s case. In contrast, Pulsara will enable the team to simultaneously consult and communicate vital information.

“There are multiple physician and ancillary services involved in determining if the clot-dissolving drug is right for that particular patient and it has to be done rapidly to come to a conclusion in the timeframe in which the drug will still be effective,” said Randy Marriott, MD, medical director for the Premier Health EMS Center of Excellence.

The app’s pilot will determine if Premier Health extends its use with other EMS squads and throughout its system. 

Back to the August 2017 issue of Premier Pulse

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