As of mid-April, the number of coronavirus COVID-19 cases United States alone has exceeded 600,000 and has taken the lives of over 30,000. Treating the sickest of these patients is the priority for hospitals today. To do that involves screening and early triage to determine how and where to best treat them while protecting the care providers from undue exposure.
Baystate Medical Center, a leading hospital in Western Massachusetts, works with dozens of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) organizations with over a hundred ambulances. As the community’s major referral hospital, they receive patient transfers from all over the state. With the high volume of patients coming in, this busy hospital sought a way for doctors to screen, review and prepare for incoming patients that may be affected with COVID-19, all without disrupting normal protocols. General Devices’ (GD) made it happen.
In spring of 2019, Baystate partnered with GD to implement their e-Bridge WorkFLOW mobile telemedicine solution in order to reduce time to treatment for patients with acute care needs like heart attack and stroke. Through workflow process improvement and team-wide communications beginning with EMS, the hospital could now best prepare for inbound patients and shave precious minutes. The initial STEMI module was so successful that Baystate implemented additional modules for stroke, trauma and general medical. Other area hospitals have adopted e-Bridge as well, making it truly a regional solution.
When GD initially released a COVID-19 module for e-Bridge in January 2020, the focus was form based CDC screening. Before long, the need shifted from screening to a true telehealth role with live video conferencing to manage patients remotely. The Baystate team asked if GD could configure the COVID-19 module as a Workflow, to harmonize with their existing modules.
GD’s Responsive Innovation team quickly implemented the requested enhancements and made the COVID-19 workflow module mirror the General Medical Workflow module that Baystate Medical Center already used. The very next day, EMS was able to communicate COVID-19 workflow alerts.
The new module allowed for automatic triggers and notifications to ensure:
- Patient Screening is done before they enter the hospital
- Users gain all needed information without adding extra steps into their process
- Medical Center is able to follow CDC regulations while following their own protocols
- Documentation of patient symptoms and securely saved and available for review
- Information shared securely across care teams.
“In the few weeks since go-live, we have already received about 200 COVID-19 alerts from our EMS partners via e-Bridge,” says Erin Markt, Senior EMS and Prehospital Coordinator, “These alerts allowed us to implement a new screening process within our Baystate Medical Center Emergency Department (ED). We now are able to send an EMS-ED Liaison out to the ambulance bay in a timely manner to evaluate the potential/confirmed COVID-19 patient and decrease the amount of exposure to the EMS and ED staff during patient handover.”
Such quick and easy communication between hospitals and EMS teams minimizes delays and duplicate work. This telehealth solution is so “invaluable,” according to Markt, that Baystate uses the COVID-19 module not just for 911 patients, but also to improve communication for inter-facility transport cases. “We are grateful for the team communication enhancements that General Devices’ e-Bridge has given our medical teams,” says Markt.
GD’s Responsive Innovative team is here to help EMS, hospitals and patients with telehealth solutions that improve patient care and team communication while helping minimize exposure to providers during this difficult time. Visit www.general-devices/virus to learn how we can help you.
About GD e-Bridge
GD e-Bridge and GD e-Bridge Visit are a highly configurable telemedicine / telehealth solutions. With apps for iOS, Android and Win-PC, they provide HIPAA secure video conferencing, multi-media team communications, alert notifications, ETA tracking, data management, acute care workflows and more that enable right care at the right place and right time to reduce costs and save lives.
About GD (General Devices)
GD is a 40+ year Med Tech company that specializes in mobile telemedicine and telehealth that, enables simply smarter patient care by empowering hospitals, EMS, mobile integrated healthcare, community paramedicine and public safety responders with the most comprehensive, highly configurable, and affordable medical team communications solutions. Learn more at general-devices.com