In any large-scale disaster with multiple victims, emergency responders use a triage system to evaluate each patient’s injuries, prioritize treatment and provide transport to medical facilities for those who need it. MARCER coordinates an electronic patient tracking system will facilitate that process for emergency responders and hospitals in the region.
MARCER and the Hospital Committee continue to collaborate on strategies to enhance and maintain the triage process, which includes standardization of triage tags with bar codes that creates a tracking number for the individual. Health care providers (EMS or hospitals) will use these tags, special barcode scanners and wireless communications systems during a mass-casualty incident to efficiently and accurately track the number of injured, as well as the status and location of each victim.
The data from scanned triage tags is communicated to hospitals through Intermedix, EMSystem and EMTrack, which is a real-time communications and resource management system already in use in the region. Hospitals use EMSystem to keep emergency medical services personnel informed on their emergency room status and number of available patient beds. The patient tracking system will alert hospitals to the number of incoming patients and their condition. The system will also make it easier for hospitals to help families locate their loved ones in a mass-casualty incident. The region has also developed and interface in partnership with the American Red Cross to share information to assist in family reunification following a disaster.
Patient Tracking Training
The Patient Tracking Committee worked with representatives from the RHSCC and partners in the state of Missouri to standardize the training process used for Electronic Patient Tracking.
The committee recognized the need for “on demand” training tools for end users of the system. The Missouri Hospital Association worked with Intermedix staff to produce training videos for each of the partners. EMTrack staff completed an initial set of five videos: