The emergency medical services challenge in Memphis is a big one and growing. From 2012–2015, the call volume faced by the city’s Division of Fire Services increased by roughly 10.5%, to around 125,000 calls a year. That’s almost 3,600 calls per ambulance, around 10 a day. A fifth of those aren’t actual emergencies.
Like many busy urban departments, Memphis has its high utilizers and developed a mobile integrated healthcare-type program to reduce their strain on local resources, Healthcare Navigator. The new ImageTrend Elite software that’s powering this Healthcare Navigator program is also now serving ePCR needs department-wide. “We’ve been with ImageTrend since we first went to electronic patient care records, and we’ve been happy with their product,” says Lt. Kevin Spratlin, MS, NRP, who heads the Healthcare Navigator program. “Moving to Elite has given us even more functionality for the work we do. We’ll be able to look more closely at our data to find trends and figure out where we need to focus.”
The mission of the Healthcare Navigator program is to find more appropriate resources to help clients on its HUG (High Utilizer Group) list; they’re the frequent callers who most tax the FD with non-emergent needs. “Many of these people have legitimate medical and psychosocial concerns,” notes Spratlin. “We just may not be the best fit for their needs.” They’ll try to find an entity that is.
There’s also a second category for persons of concern who don’t meet the high-utilizer threshold but could benefit from assistance—hoarders, for instance, whose affliction could be quite relevant in a medical emergency or fire.
ImageTrend Elite, which went live department-wide July 5, will let Spratlin develop a customized PCR for the program that’s NEMSIS v3 compliant, in a format that works for providers, with the worksheets and supporting documents they need.
Elite interfaces with multiple platforms and operating systems, allowing other partners to share data and information — obviously a prime consideration for MIH-type programs. The challenge of documenting MIH-CP types of care efforts is that they’re ongoing, not discrete, like your typical EMS call. Elite solves that dilemma.
“Traditional EMS patient care records are incident-centric,” says Spratlin. “Previously, every time we encountered someone, we’d have to create a new incident and a ticket to go along with that. What we’re building now is a patient-centric record. It’ll be more like a hospital EMR, where we’ll have the patient’s demographics and all their history and background, but also a chronological view of all the followups done. It’ll make us more efficient in what we do.”
Also relevant to CP-type programs are attributes like configurable access and security based on permission groups; tiered administration and reporting based on organizational structure; custom groupings of agencies and departments; and system- and service-configurable settings.
More functions are coming, but for both the Healthcare Navigator program and Memphis Fire in general, Elite takes departmental data capabilities to the next level. “Like a lot of other departments, we have an ever-increasing call volume, coupled with a decreasing budget and the staffing issues many agencies experience,” says Spratlin. “It creates conditions where we have to innovate—we have to find better ways of caring for those we’re responsible for. Putting all that data together in a patient-centric record makes us more efficient in what we do.”
About ImageTrend, Inc. www.ImageTrend.com
ImageTrend, Inc. is dedicated to connecting life’s most important data in the healthcare and emergency response community. ImageTrend delivers software solutions, data analytics and services for EMS, hospitals, community paramedicine (CP), critical care, fire, and preparedness to enable fully integrated patient-centric healthcare and public safety. ImageTrend’s commitment to innovation, its clients, and providing world-class implementation and support is unsurpassed. Based in Lakeville, Minn., ImageTrend combines business analysis, creative design and data driven architecture to offer scalable solutions and strategies for today and the future.
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