Emergency Responders Use LifeNet to Interact with Area Hospitals - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Emergency Responders Use LifeNet to Interact with Area Hospitals

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Harrison County -

Emergency responders and healthcare providers are constantly working to improve response times and quality of care.

The Harrison County Emergency Squad recently introduced LifeNet into its daily routines. It uses the technology with local hospitals as a way to provide physicians with patient information before a patient arrives at the facility.

"We can basically take a cardiac monitor into a house, get the information, and it packetizes it and takes it out. What we have here specifically, it's all wireless," said Jeff Way, with the Harrison County EMS.

Way said this essentially transforms an ambulance ride into an Emergency Room visit.

"We can cut that time down by, one, they know what's coming in, two, don't stop in the ER at all. We can take that patient right upstairs to the second floor cath lab," Way said.

Dr. Chris Goode at the United Hospital Center said LifeNet gives even the most rural residents access to urgent care. He said with something as serious as a heart attack, minutes are crucial.

 "That allows the ER physician to evaluate the EKG long before the patient gets here. When you are having a heart attack, the best thing is to be in a cardiac catheterization lab here within 90 minutes," said Dr. Chris Goode, with the United Hospital Center.

Unlike previous methods of just calling the doctor and telling them what's going on, Way said this allows doctors to see what's happening in real time and eliminates opportunity for error.

"If you would leave an important piece of information out, a vital sign out, again it's human error, a lot of pressure in the back of that ambulance," Way said.

Good said the technology takes some of the pressure off of EMS providers.

"These EMS providers are very busy in the back of an ambulance, busy stabilizing a patient. We need to make it easy to them to send the image across the system, get it to the provider who can interpret it. Often times, we have the patients name and we can compare it to previous EKG's," Goode said.