EMS World

AUG 2018

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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26 AUGUST 2018 | EMSWORLD.com BONUS CONTENT: HEALTHCARE INTEGRATION W e're well into the era in which nontraditional mobile inte- grated healthcare (MIH) EMS services are here to stay. No matter the format of the program, each seems to have a similar purpose: to give the right patient the right response in the right time frame and navigate them to appropri- ate care. Achieving these goals of ten requires a significant amount of resources and finance. Many programs still rely on grant funding and struggle with a pathway to financial and operational sustainability. One difficult but vital step toward sus- tained success is the ability to seamlessly communicate with a variet y of par tner entities that historically have had dif- ferent operational IT formats. Historical technologies have struggled to bridge IT gaps, limiting interfaces and forcing MIH- type programs to either adopt less-than- fitting IT solutions or use less-ef ficient means of old communication, documen- tation, and record sharing. Alth o ugh many o r ganiz atio ns have figured out elaborate workarounds, the ultimate goal of creating an inexpensive, ubiquitous, task-generating, trackable, HIPA A- compliant inter face that link s all stakeholders involved in prehospital patient navigation has remained elusive. In Search of an Answer This stor y has been no different in Colo- rado Springs. The Colorado Springs Fire D epar tment 's Communit y and Public Health Division (CPH) is home to the Community Assistance Referral and Edu- cation Ser vices (CARES) program, which works primarily with superutilizers of the emergency medical system and provides a thorough intake process and integrat- ed intensive nav igation for qualif y ing patients in Colorado Springs and El Paso County. Members of the CARES program are identified as requiring additional help to manage their complex physical and behavioral health needs by our partner- ing agencies and the CSFD itself. Given the broadness of needs and the high-profile nature of this population, the ability to document properly and share all patient information is imperative to our program's success. Back in 2012 when the CARES program started, our team worked with our EMS ePCR, using paper char ts and a note card reminder system to make sure patients were being contacted and assisted in a timely fashion. This method wa s not always accu- rate or ef ficient and provided a myriad of HIPAA concerns. We needed a better way to document patient encounters, more fitting to nontraditional prehospi- tal patient care and navigation—a system that could create longitudinal records instead of traditional EMS "occurrence" records; suppor t real-time bidirectional multipar tner connectivit y; and provide task-oriented charting and loop-closure mechanisms. We performed an exhaustive search for an existing IT platform, both within the EMS and then healthcare facility worlds, that could accomm o date th e uniqu e needs of a prehospital MIH entit y, but there wa s simply no single af fordable product that could meet our needs. It appeared we would be forced to mold our programs around existing technol- ogy that of fered af ter thought add-ons to existing EMS IT platforms. The Ceiling Breaks Then in 2015 CPH was approached to be a test site for an IT platform that was not only user-friendly but also cloud-based, By Victoria Allen-Sanchez, PsyD(c), MC, LPC, and E. Stein Bronsky, MD Integration Facilitation: The Platform Fueling MIH A long search in Colorado Springs finally produced a solution that joins all partners

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