SSM Health implements data exchange technology with EMS

MADISON, Wis. — SSM Health is implementing an information exchange technology that will allow EMS and hospital care providers to communicate more efficiently and improve patient care.

SSM is the first health care organization in Madison to administer a software known as ESO Health Data Exchange which enables hospitals and EMS agencies to quickly and easily share electronic patient records 

“Before it was a lot of manual work, paper copying, scanning, faxing and this allows it to be kind of up to par with where technology is that we would expect it to be,” said SSM Health Regional EMS Medical Director Kacey Kronenfeld.

With this technology records that took days or even weeks for hospitals to collect can now be acquired with a simple scan and some computerized technology to confirm a match.

“This is the future of healthcare and helping really create a system of care rather than parallel processes in place with pre-hospital providers and hospital based care,” Kronenfeld said. “The patient should have the best level of care available to them from the get go.”

According to Kronenfeld ESO guarantees hospitals have all the information from patient interactions that occurred prior to coming into the hospitals that could’ve otherwise potentially been lost or at least delayed during a verbal handoff with EMS. 

She said not only does this technology allow hospitals to maintain a continuity of care with EMS providers but the time saved allows them to have more information readily available as they’re actively caring for patients to helping them make the best decisions around patient care.

Additionally the technology also offers EMS providers the chance to follow up on their patients and look for opportunities for improvement or positive reinforcement of best care practices.

“First responders often treat patients and never learn about their outcomes,” said Fitch-Rona Chief Patrick Anderson in a news release. “We will have access to that health information and our caregivers can receive feedback on their efforts, which will allow us to better serve our community.” 

According to SSM health representatives this platform has already successfully built communication bridges in over 400 hospitals across the country.

“We’re very excited to be the first ones to bring it to Wisconsin and South Central Wisconsin in particular where we can help elevate the level of care provided,” Kronfeld said.

SSM Health plans to implement this technology with up to 50 of their EMS partners across South Central Wisconsin over the next couple of months.

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