By Zach Anderson, Pope County Tribune and Starbuck Times, February 20, 2017
Technology is constantly evolving, sometimes helping provide better emergency care. Glacial Ridge Health System Emergency Services will be able to provide better emergency care with its added secure i-Pad video feed that connects the ambulance to the emergency room.
Emergency Services and Training Manager Greg Meyers said that emergency medical technicians have gotten busier. “ We now have a way of showing the ER providers what the patients look like and what condition they are in before ever arriving at the hospital.” It used to be just relayed through radio.
GRHS is one of the first hospitals in West Central Minnesota to utilize this technology.
Meyers also has the program on his phone so if he is at the scene of a car accident he can video the site and give the hospital staff a better feel of how bad the crash was.
The program also helps with being able to relay EKG results to the hospital before arrival.
If an EMT is taking care of a critical patient, the ER provider can see the patient through the IPAD and ask questions, allowing the EMT to continue to administer care to the patient. Dr. Montenegro, Medical Director of Emergency Services, said, “it’s an optimal use of technology as it becomes available. The ambulance staff are good at describing the patient’s condition, but being able to see what is happening is one-step better. It helps us be more proactive in their care and formulate a plan before their arrival at the ER.”
“It helps the providers out,” Meyers said. “They can get things ready before the patient arrives.” Being able to see the patient beforehand can allow doctors to call anesthesia, have chest tubes ready and other pre-planning.
Not only does the technology help providers by allowing them to prep, it can also give the EMTs inside the ambulance a chance to get a second opinion and help make the best care decision.
“What can we do to give our patients the best care,” Meyers said. “I’m glad that Glacial Ridge is being a leader in this. It provides more efficient, quality care for our patients.”
Patients will see the new technology in all five ambulances located in Glenwood, Starbuck, and Brooten in the very near future.