One of the benefits of attending a trade-show conference (other than the sales exposure, of course!) is the validation and a renewed sense of purpose that comes from spending time with like-minded customers, vendors, industry professionals…and even competitors. This hit home for me in September at the 2013 EMS World Expo in Las Vegas.
Mobile Integrated Healthcare Summit — An EMS World Expo first…
While “Team GD” was busy demonstrating the latest advances in telemedicine and EMS communication systems at our booth in the exhibit hall , I was able to attend the day-long Mobile Integrated Healthcare Summit (the first of its kind). Presenters in five different workshops offered a comprehensive overview of this emerging care model and how it is already altering the future of EMS. Discussions included how to lay a foundation for Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) in your area, the role of medicine in MIH, and the challenges of implementing and integrating MIH programs (including collaboration with other public health and social service organizations and addressing regulatory issues).
What does this mean for EMS?
Throughout the various panels, two common themes emerged. First, the way healthcare services are delivered and paid for is changing dramatically. Greater efficiency and accountability are demanded as the medical community is charged with “doing more with less.” Mobile Integrated Healthcare is quickly becoming part of this new paradigm.
Second, EMS is uniquely positioned to be a major player in the Mobile Integrated Healthcare arena. EMS already makes 37 million house calls a year, so it is well-positioned to play new roles as “Unscheduled Medical Services” as one presenter put it, namely in the form of Community Paramedicine and the other innovative programs that make up MIH.
Listening to the various speakers, I realized once again the valuable and necessary role mobile telemedicine will play in the ever-expanding MIH field. And I felt proud to be part of General Devices and its pioneering work over the past 23 years in the development of mobile telemedicine and communications systems for the EMS community.
With recent advancements to our e-Bridge Mobile Telemedicine system, the CAREpoint Workstation, and e-Net Messenger program, General Devices continues to offer practical and affordable solutions to help EMS and the prehospital care providers address the changes in healthcare delivery.
So what did I learn at the Mobile Integrated Healthcare Summit? The challenges to EMS in our rapidly-changing environment are great, but so are the opportunities. And now more than ever, General Devices can help EMS meet the challenges, and seize the opportunities.
Yes, it was a very good day.
Curt Bashford, President