ZOLL Connects Emergency Medical Services and Hospitals for Bi-Directional Health Information Exchange and Better Care Coordination
When an ambulance arrives, providers in the emergency room want to know more than simply who’s coming. They need to have a full understanding of the care provided by the emergency medical services (EMS) team and other important information captured en route.
Completing the Patient Picture for Emergency Care
The old EMS approach had patient health information shared with receiving hospitals via radio, and with a hard copy report. As a result, providers sometimes missed necessary information when they needed it most. And with health information flowing out from EMS but not in, EMS personnel could be without essential information they need while treating the patient in the field. In either case, quality of care could be compromised, there’s increased potential for unnecessary tests or procedures at the hospital, and patients could be transported to out-of-network emergency rooms. To provide the best outcomes for patients, some being seen for the first time, EMS and emergency departments need a complete patient health record.
ZOLL Enables a New Era of Electronic Health Information Exchange for EMS
“The consolidation of health records across hospitals and the implementation of more robust national, state, and regional health information exchange standards have presented a significant opportunity for emergency care delivery,” says Greg Mears, MD, Medical Director at ZOLL. ZOLL develops and markets medical devices and software, including electronic patient care record (ePCR) solutions for EMS organizations and other first responders. “Sharing patient health information electronically with other care providers across the continuum of care enables us to close care gaps, empower care teams, measure outcomes, and, most importantly, drive better care delivery forward.”
Leveraging the Power of InterSystems HealthShare
ZOLL used InterSystems HealthShare® as the foundation for health information exchange and analytics in its patient care documentation and business intelligence products, beginning with three use cases:
- In dispatch centers, looking up patient demographic and health status information in community-wide health information exchanges to assist in making better response decisions, and to avoid inadvertent harm
- Collecting all information from the EMS response team — including patient evaluation, procedures performed, medications administered, and so on — into an electronic package that will move with the patient for further care
- Post-event data analysis to better understand business demographics, insurance, patient outcomes, and quality measures
“Most of the products we looked at only had pieces of what we needed,” says Mears. “HealthShare had all the standards and other capabilities we needed to be our platform for connecting about 2,000 of our customers cost-effectively to local, regional, and national health information exchanges.”
The future on FHIR, in the cloud
ZOLL provides its “EMR for EMS” for customers as an onsite or hosted solution. The pool of data from hosted solutions will enable a new level of metrics analysis by ZOLL to help customers benchmark and improve their performance in the context of others in the industry. ZOLL also is looking forward to making use of HealthShare’s FHIR capabilities as a way to drive down the cost of interoperability and making it easier to share data. “I fully expect business intelligence and analytics through HealthShare to give us and our customers what it takes to perform and thrive in the era of value-based care and population health,” says Mears. “Being able to document performance measures and outcomes is critical.”