BUFFALO, N.Y. — Catholic Health has started using an app that helps EMTs better communicate with emergency rooms, and says it may be a potential saver, especially when seconds count.
It's called Pulsara and installed on an EMTs smartphone or tablet, allowing them to engage in real-time consultation with emergency room doctors and nurses to triage and assess patients while they are en route to the hospital.
"Traditionally EMTs have phoned into a number directly to the emergency room, but sometimes if the doctor is not there, or tending to another patient, the nurse has to go find them," explained Lori Dufrense, who oversees all of the emergency rooms in the Catholic Health system locally. "This way not only are the doctor and the emergency room staff notified, but so are the cardiac team if it's a heart attack, or the neuro team if it's a stroke patient."
The app not only allows first responders to transmit patient data but also allows for live video consults right from the ambulance.
According to Dufrense, it's already proven useful.
"There was a recent night when we had two patients arrive within seven minutes of each other having heart attacks," she said. " So, the team was able to communicate to the interventional cardiologist in one conversation with each patient and they were able to determine who needed to go to the Cath lab first, he was able to review their EKGs because they can take pictures of the EKGs and send them directly to the interventional cardiologist."
The app went live at Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo just over two weeks ago, and according to Dufrense a grant from the Catholic Health Foundation will pay to have it installed on the devices of EMTs throughout Western New York.
"We're going to be rolling it out at all the other emergency rooms in Catholic Health in the near future, and this app has so many functions that we are exploring and experiencing," she said.