In a medical emergency, such as a stroke or a heart attack, getting needed care fast is paramount. A new application called Twiage, used by Emergency Medical Services (EMS), allows transport units to provide detailed information to hospitals about a patient’s condition before arriving at the emergency department.
According to Newton Medical Center Emergency Department (ED) Nurse Manager Douglas Cook, RN, “Twiage is an app that EMS personnel use on their phone that notifies us in a HIPAA-compliant way of patients who are coming to the ED. It allows them to give us a much more in-depth picture of the patient.”
In addition to sending information about the patient’s condition, Twiage can send photos, EKGs, or videos in real time so EDs are prepared for the patient’s arrival. Hospital specialists can also be notified ahead of time. For instance, if the incoming patient has had a stroke, Twiage alerts the hospital’s stroke coordinator.
Prior to the use of Twiage, hospitals used the public frequency HEAR (Hospital Emergency Ambulance Radio) system. “Twiage replaces the HEAR radio and gives EMS a broader and more interactive way to communicate with the ED,” says Cook. “We can ask questions through it, and they can give us more information.”
The Twiage system recently helped hospital personnel prepare for the arrival of a 62-year-old stroke victim. “She was at work and went to her supervisor’s office because she didn’t feel well and became unresponsive. An ambulance was called, and the EMS team sent us notification so we could prepare for the patient, making sure the CT scanner was ready. We set up TESS, our Telestroke Electronic Stroke System at the bedside to connect with our neurology specialists at Overlook once she arrived.”