NMC Utilizing Life-Saving Communication Technology in Emergency Departments

Jan 23, 2019

As the only hospital in Nacogdoches that has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for both Chest Pain and Stroke Certification, as well as Level IV Trauma Center Designation from the Department of State Health Services, NMC Health Network’s multidisciplinary emergency services team has implemented effective data-driven performance improvement processes and employed innovative treatment options in order to eliminate or reduce the devastating effects of a critical illness or injury and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Recently NMC activated exciting new technology at both their Nacogdoches and Shelby County Emergency Departments that improves communication between Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers and Emergency Room (ER) teams preparing to receive acutely ill patients.

In the past, EMS to hospital communications were coordinated by phone calls, handheld radios, faxes and/or pagers. Today, smart devices are revolutionizing the way this communication occurs. NMC recently launched Pulsara, a cloud-based telecommunications platform that facilitates real-time interactions between EMS responders and Emergency Department staff enabling instant transmission of data from the field to hospital personnel via smart device. This vital communication helps accelerate time to treatment for critical care patients, which in turn can improve outcomes.

“EMS personnel alert our team when they have a patient coming in,” said Mark Burgess, Director of Critical Care Services at NMC. “This communication is crucial in order to prepare for patient arrival. Sending data via smart device can prevent misunderstanding of a radio report, missing a fax or email, or getting a busy phone signal; and the information is conveyed immediately, facilitating faster, life-saving treatment for our patients when they arrive.”

Speed to treatment is especially important in the case of heart attack, stroke and trauma. In these time-sensitive emergencies, the new technology allows clinicians to review audio clips and images, as well as participate in video calls from the field. In addition to emergency room personnel, other areas of the hospital can also be notified of an incoming emergency such as cath lab or operating room teams enabling them to quickly respond to emergent situations. With specialized heart attack and stroke workflows, some hospitals that use the technology report an average reduction in time to treatment of 20% to 40%.

“We are very excited about the potential this cutting-edge communications technology has to help our community,” said Philip Koovakada, NMC Chief Executive Officer. “We want to provide our team with every advantage possible to enhance the care we deliver to our patients. Information is power, and this tool has the capability to save lives.”

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