Georgia County Government - January/February 2012 - (Page 19)

Feature How New EMS Technologies are Improving Patient Care By Laura A. Hernandez I n Georgia, innovative technologies are being put into action in the field of emergency medical services (EMS) at an impressively rapid pace. These new technologies save time, money and lives. EMS providers are obliged by law to record and report data from every ambulance trip, and this data must now be submitted to state offices in an electronic format. New technology incorporated into ambulances is improving patient care and creating efficiencies in reporting. Photo courtesy Puckett EMS. As recently as two years ago, 911 emergency providers in Georgia were using inconvenient bubble-in forms to record their trip logs. In 2009, state-level EMS entities came together and worked to implement a convenient method of data collection that would generate more accurate, comprehensive and accessible data profiles. A large grant from the state Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) facilitated the purchase of nearly 800 laptop computers to be installed in the ambulances of EMS providers for easy data input. Mea nwh i le, t he G eorg ia Trau ma C a re Net work Commission (GTCNC), the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA/HS) and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) determined the need to develop a statewide Automatic Vehicle Location System (AVLS) to improve trauma care, particularly in a state of emergency or a mass casualty incident. Such a system would provide a display of ambulance positions and advise EMS agencies and hospitals of the closest appropriate facility to transport or transfer patients. The AVLS is to be extended to all primary 911 zone providers. The challenge posed by the concept of the system was to integrate over 200 existing EMS agencies, each with their own independent communications technology, into a single platform. In Motion Technology met that challenge. The firm was selected to receive the contract for the Automatic Vehicle Location System in late September of last year after a successful pilot initiative, wherein the GTCNC purchased 200 of In Motion Technology’s onBoard™ Mobile Gateways for EMS Regions 5 and 6.  “In a state of emergency, like an infectious outbreak, hospitals need to know where ambulances are, need to be able to communicate with them, and need to make sure that EMS personnel from other regions have precise directions to the staging area. In Motion devices address all three requirements,” says Courtney Terwilliger, chairman EMS TECHNOLOGIES continued on page 20 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - January/February 2012

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
Guest Editorial: Together We Stand
Harris County: Smart Investments Paying Dividends for the Future
EMS Delivery Models in Georgia
How New EMS Technologies are Improving Patient Care
Regional EMS: Opportunities for Better Service and Lower Costs?
EMS Leadership Course Planned
Washington D.C. Update
Georgia Public Safety Radio Systems Must Transition to Narrowbanding
Fulton County Public Works Recognized with APWA Accreditation
Extension News: Teens Solving Community Problems
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - January/February 2012