Technology brings Colorado Springs Hospitals and EMS together to Improve Care for Stroke and Heart Attack Victims.
When someone suffers a stroke in Colorado Springs, a team of health care experts spring into action. First responders rush to the scene and provide initial care, quickly notifying the nearest hospital. The emergency department then prepares to receive the patient and deliver immediate care as the stroke team, a specialized group of doctors and nurses, mobilize to treat and reverse the stroke as quickly as possible.
That process usually happens through radio calls and reports, phone calls and pages, often causing delays in care and potentially obstructing physicians from knowing all the critical information of a patient’s condition – mistakes that can impact outcomes negatively.
Centura Health and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services have partnered with UCHealth and Memorial Hospital to bring Pulsara to the Colorado Springs community. Pulsara is a mobile application accessible on the smartphones and mobile devices of first responders, emergency department staff and hospital neurologists that links each person involved in every step of patient care delivery. Before Pulsara, neurologists would receive a page at home and not know much more about their patient until they arrived at the hospital. The app connects the neurologists to the first responders and the ED staff, with real-time access to medical records, charts, notes, and observations from every person in the care delivery continuum. With Pulsara, neurologists get more information before they see the patient and receive it directly from the EMS provider or ED staff who treated the patient, decreasing the probability for communication errors to occur.
“We are thrilled at the opportunity to use technology to improve the care we provide to our community and to make the jobs of our medics, nurses and doctors more efficient,” said Cory Warner, Director of Neuroscience and Spine Care for Centura Health South State Operating Group and Penrose-St. Francis.
Using the app, a paramedic in the field who recognizes a stroke can tap a button on his or her phone that notifies everyone on the hospital team that an ambulance is on its way with a stroke patient. As the paramedic enters more information, such as the patient’s medical history and vital signs, every member of the team is instantly updated.
“We owe it to our patients to make sure we’re communicating and making our systems more connected for seamless patient care,” said Sue Richardson, EMS manager at Penrose-St. Francis.
“By bringing together both major hospital systems in Colorado Springs to finance and support the integration of the Pulsara applications, we’re ensuring that we’re providing the tools to improve communications between prehospital and hospital services.”
In addition to notifying the entire team of basic information, healthcare providers using Pulsara can transmit EKGs, photos and even medical record numbers, allowing other members of the care team to look up the patient’s past medical history immediately. Because no information is stored on the user’s personal device, Pulsara is HIPAA compliant and secure.
The collaboration between Penrose-St. Francis and Memorial Hospital with Colorado Springs-area EMS providers is an example of how the health care community can come together and put patients first. When it comes to strokes and heart attacks, minutes matter and the added capabilities that Pulsara provides can make the difference toward a full recovery.
Both health systems began the process of integrating the Pulsara app last year and went live with the technology in July 2016. The hospitals are covering the expense of the software required to run this smart device application, making it accessible for EMS and Fire agencies in the region.