California HIE to use $4.9M grant to connect ambulances with hospital patient data

As first responders, emergency medical service (EMS) providers often have to make quick, life-saving decisions without any patient health information during emergencies.

Using a $4.9 million state grant issued by the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), California health information exchange (HIE) Manifest MedEx is leading an initiative to facilitate better data exchange between ambulance service providers and hospitals to ensure first responders have relevant patient data when they are in the field.

Manifest MedEx will work with six local EMS agencies, 13 EMS providers and 16 hospitals across eight counties—Riverside, San Bernardino, Fresno, Tulare, San Joaquin, Merced, Amador, Stanislaus and Calaveras—to develop a framework for bidirectional data exchange. EMS services and hospitals in those eight counties serve more than 7.6 million Californians.

The data exchange framework follows the Office of the National Coordinator’s Search, Alert, File, Reconcile (SAFR) model (PDF). By connecting EMS providers and their emergency department partners through SAFR, Manifest MedEx will enable data-informed emergency care in the field, real-time notification to hospitals of incoming patients and seamless data transfer between electronic patient care records and hospital electronic health records, the organization said.

Starting with a two-year program, the initiative is designed to create capabilities that can be scaled to other California communities in the future.

Read full article published in Fierce Healthcare.