The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center is trying a new pilot program to share patient information between emergency medical services and the hospital.
When a patient is brought to the emergency room, their information is passed between EMS and emergency room workers. Medics usually give a verbal briefing on the patient, like the medications the person may be taking or other data, and then send more details later by email.
"The challenge, however, is when you have all these people being brought to the hospital from a pre-hospital area, from their homes, the communication that you have from that environment to the hospital system, in situations where time is of the essence, becomes really challenging and really difficult," says ER doctor Ashish Panchal.
The new pilot program between two Ohio State hospitals and two fire departments aims to make that handoff quicker and more accurate.
"The good thing about a health data exchange is any information from the EMS provider goes into the chart of the patient, so that a physician like myself in the emergency department can look at that chart, see the information from the pre-hospital provider, and be able to act on it," he says.
He says the data exchange will allow both the hospital and EMS to both improve their processes and, eventually, patient outcomes.