Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Colorado Springs Fire Department tracking medical emergencies with barcodes

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) is now using barcodes to improve treatment during emergency medical calls.

It’s a tool for mass casualty situations that is also benefiting daily calls for individuals.

“Everything that we do is for the patient to make things better for the patient, faster, transport faster care,” Medical Lieutenant Brian Ebmeyer said.

A recent protocol update is using wristbands with barcodes for all calls.

“We put them on every patient,” Ebmeyer said. “So we’re in that muscle memory kind of mode.”

The practice comes in the aftermath of the Club Q mass shooting in 2022.

“We didn’t have it. It wasn’t up and running. But within a month after that, that accelerated and showed us the need and usefulness of that banding system,” Ebmeyer said.

The barcode bands were an update in the works for an app called Pulsara that was already in use by CSFD.

The app is a real-time link between paramedics on a scene, ambulance crews and the doctors and nurses on duty in emergency rooms.

Anyone can scan the barcode to get information.

“They’re up to speed with everything that’s been done to that patient, their vital signs, name, date of birth. So you don’t have to repeat that process over and over,” Ebmeyer said.

During mass casualty incidents, it can also prevent one hospital from becoming overwhelmed with patients, while other emergency departments are less crowded.

“Everybody in our system stays informed on where that patient is, what hospital they went to, where they are in their treatment process,” Ebmeyer said.

Tracking can happen en route and when an individual arrives at the hospital in hopes of getting them the specific care they need more quickly. Real-time information in advance allows medical professionals to make decisions before a patient arrives at the hospital.

“The hospital has resources where we completely bypass the emergency room and they go right to a CT scan for a stroke, they go right to labor and delivery, they go right to the cath lab without even stopping in the emergency room,” Ebmeyer said.

Saving time can save lives during medical emergencies.

Springs Fire now using barcodes to improve emergency medical treatment

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