Camillus A national trend is trickling down to local companies, as healthcare providers keep their finger on the pulse of new technology.
Western Area Volunteer Emergency Services, or WAVES, a Camillus ambulance service, has been using iPads in their rigs for about a year, getting the idea from the Greater Baldwinsville Ambulance Corps.
“We’ve always been a company that’s fairly progressive,” said Daniel Taylor, director of public relations and paramedic at WAVES. “We’re aware of technology and how much it can be utilized in our field.”
The paramedics and EMTs are using the tablet devices through a mobile WiFi network, logging on to a charting website. They’re able to log all the information about their patient in the system in an intuitive way. Once they arrive on scene after being dispatched, they can look to see if the patient has been treated by WAVES before. If so, that person’s medical history will be saved in the system, giving the paramedic access to allergies, previous diagnoses and other pertinent information. The paramedics are also able to record much more information about the patient’s demeanor and way of life.
“It allows for much more detailed charts,” Taylor said. “That can be very beneficial to us.”
The information isn’t yet being transmitted to the hospital — that’s still done through the LifePak, a device that monitors and tracks important information in a patient’s care, such as medication distributed, pulse and heart rhythms. Reports from the LifePak are being transmitted to the hospital prior to arrival, Taylor said. The next generation of those monitors will have Bluetooth capabilities, which could allow them to interact with the iPads.
The patient’s report from that day can nearly be completed on the device prior to the paramedics returning to the station. Typically, paramedics only have to scan hand-signed documents, such as HIPPA forms, at the station.