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TODAY news for Thursday, October 7, 2004

Loma Linda University Medical Center news

LLUMC emergency department announces new EMS data collection system

Rick Rolston holding a laptop computer.
Rick Rolston, division chief for Big Bear Fire, displays the CF-18 Panasonic toughbook laptop computer that makes the backbone of the new data collection system.
On Tuesday, July 27, Loma Linda University Medical Center and numerous collaborating fire and EMS agencies jointly announced the beginning of a new state-of-the-art integrated pre-hospital and hospital data collection system. The new system allows field paramedics to enter notes electronically—eliminating the time-consuming pen and paper entry model—and then integrates these electronic notes with ambulance and hospital medical records systems already in place.“Historically, data collection has been fragmented,” says Jeff Grange, MD, FACEP, director of emergency medical services at LLUMC. “The new system allows us to make it a continuous process from start to finish, with the research benefits of comparing medicines and techniques with their related outcomes.”“We use a paper and pen
Jeff Grange holding a laptop computer.
Jeff Grange, MD, FACEP, director of emergency medical services at LLUMC, displays the CF-18 Panasonic toughbook laptop computer that makes the backbone of the new data collection system.
to take our first notes,” agrees Captain Mark Hartwig of San Bernardino County Fire. “The opportunity to weed out the pen and paper step is exciting to us. We like the idea of going to a national data set and away from a regional set.” The electronic data collection will replace the current paper system and streamline the current EMS report process. It will also create a database for agencies to query for dynamic process-improvement programs. This creates a database that will allow for outcome-based research.“No agency has been able to do this—create an outcome-based research database,” says Henry Vasquez, EMS coordinator San Bernardino City Fire. “This universal system will help all of our first responder agencies.”This new collection system will allow first responders, ambul
Representatives from area EMS providers sitting at a table.
Representatives from area EMS providers help answer questions about the new data collection process implemented in July.
ance agencies, and hospital staff to cross reference medical records throughout the continuum of care started at the scene of injury. Fire and paramedic crews will have much faster access to patient outcomes of techniques and medicines administered on site.“This gives us a follow-up opportunity that we’ve never had before,” says Rick Rolston, division chief for Big Bear Fire. “We can do quality improvement studies right there in Big Bear.”The bottom line this new system creates is a seamless transition between first responders and ambulance and hospital staff that improves both accuracy and efficiency. This translates into faster, better care for patients right from the moment the paramedics arrive.The new collection system consists of wireless infrastructure created at Loma Linda University Medical Center and a set of 100 toughbook laptop computers provided by HealthWare Solutions LLC. These CF-18 Panasonic laptops with rotating screens allow first responders to enter data electronically either through a keyboard or a pen-shaped stylus directly onto the screen through Windows XP tablet software. The computers also meet strict military standards regarding dust and impact resistance. The creation of an integrated medical record is a project funded by a $4 million congressional appropriation through Congressman Jerry Lewis. Participating agencies in the press conference include the San Bernardino City Fire Depart-ment; the San Bernardino County Fire Department; the Colton Fire Department; the Big Bear Fire Department; the San Manuel Fire Department; Loma Linda Fire Department; and the American Medical Response company.

TODAY news for Thursday, October 7, 2004