Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Emergency Services Update

Each year, emergency medical service providers respond to more than 25 to 30 million transport calls requiring the most current information to be available to emergency care responders. For example, EMS providers use pre-hospital triage guidelines to determine whether a patient should be transported to a trauma center, but since the guideline’s accuracy and efficiency rely on the analysis of data sets from multiple sites, this information may not always be available or accurate.

The Clinical and Translational Research Institute, (CTSA) West Coast Consortium are working together with community partners to study how effectively emergency medicine is operating in the U.S. by looking at all of the data and expertise available on the subject.

The Center for Policy and Research in Emergency Medicine located at Oregon Health and Science University has launched a study on pre-hospital triage involving several CTSA sites. After some initial success, the research team plans to expand their efforts.

In an effort to further study emergency care, the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI), the first inter-CTSA network dedicated to the translational science of emergency care was established. This CTSA network, referred to as the Western Emergency Services Translational Research Network (WESTRN) now includes seven CTSA sites at OHSU, University of Washington, UC Davis, UC San Francisco (with San Francisco General Hospital), Stanford University, University of Colorado (with Denver Health), and the University of Utah.

According to Eric Orwoll, Director of OCTRI, “Emergency medicine is an excellent example of the need for a translational approach with collaborations across disciplines and sites. We can’t address emergency medicine in isolation.”

The CTSA network has collected data on more than 325,000 patients at seven sites and has already been successful in securing additional funding and support from CDC plus additional university research financial support.

In a state action to reach the emergency crews in Nebraska, the state has partnered with the Nebraska Public Power District to build a new statewide wireless radio system to improve public safety. Equipment installations for this project were installed across 25 eastern Nebraska counties to complete the system.

By partnering and not building two separate networks, a shared network was developed that connects public safety personnel from several state agencies and utility crews to the state’s largest power provider.

In addition to providing a direct channel for communication among state personnel, the network will integrate with several regional networks already in existence for city and county officials. This move will enable the state to achieve full interoperability with local first responders and county emergency management personnel.

On the Federal level, the Incident Management Systems Integration Division within FEMA wants to see the development of free software to be used as a database management tool by Federal, State, local, and tribal officials to handle emergency situations.

Referred to as the “Incident Resource Inventory System”, this tool would allow emergency responders to enter typed and non-typed resources into a common database and search for resources to help in emergencies. Users would not only be able to inventory resources but they would also be able to share resource information with other agencies.