Written by HGHEMSPress Release
Friday, July 13 2012 04:40
WINNEMUCCA — Imagine EMS crews find you unconscious at a local store but have no idea about your medical history. Do you have any drug allergies? What medications are you taking? If medical transport to a hospital is needed, how will your loved ones be notified in a timely manner?
Medics from Humboldt General Hospital’s Emergency Medical Services usually have to rummage through purses and wallets for patient identity or rely on the patient themselves, but now local residents are being encouraged to register with a web-based program that will give EMS crews the ability not only to access a patient’s medical information but also to contact anyone that person wants to be notified in case of emergency.
The ICEdot, or “In Case of Emergency,” program allows people to register their medical information and emergency contacts on a secure web site accessible to HGH EMS personnel while on scene, at the patient’s side. In essence, the program acts as a virtual medical identification bracelet.
The American Ambulance Association (AAA), the voice for ambulance services nationwide, has created the web-based national emergency health registry through a partnership with Docvia.
Jim Finger, president of the AAA, said ICEdot (ICE.), will revolutionize patient services and become the new standard of practice for the ambulance services industry.
“For millions of Americans, ICEdot will, and should, become an essential,” he said. “This voluntary method of information sharing betweenEMSproviders and patients could be just the thing that saves more lives and relieves anxiety for family members.”
Humboldt General Hospital EMS Director Pat Songer said his agency is one of the first AAA-affiliatedEMSproviders to support the national rollout of the ICEdot web service.
“Having the right information is so critical in our being able to provide good patient care,” said Songer. “We are on the frontline and we don’t usually have a lot of time to dig through people’s belongings to find out about their medications or allergies.”
Songer continued, “This web service will save precious minutes, which will translate into saving lives.”
Songer shared the example of a diabetic patient. “In just a few seconds, we could know that person has diabetes, we could know not only about the diabetes history, but also how much insulin the patient takes, the hospital they prefer, or any other information the patient chooses to put into the ICEdot program.”
Songer continued, “And once the patient is stabilized, our crews can access the patient’s profile and send a notice to all the patient’s emergency contacts by voice message, e-mail or even text message that the patient is being transported and the hospital destination.”
Songer added, “It just makes so much sense in terms of patient care.”
Humboldt General Hospital is promoting the program in an effort to register as many area residents as possible. The service is free. A premium membership costs $10 per member, per year.
The program was originally launched under the name “Invisible Bracelet.” Those who enrolled in that program are now part of the ICEdot network.
To learn more or to enroll in the ICEdot (“In Case of Emergency”) program, please visit www.ICEdot.org or call (775) 623-5222, ext. 263 for more information.