New Technology Links Pre-Hospital EMTs and Paramedics to Hospital ERs in Woodruff and Eagle River

Through generous support of the Howard Young Foundation, Howard Young Medical Center and Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital will be implementing the LIFENET® system, an electronic link between the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) responding to 911 calls in the field and the Emergency Department. This technology will allow doctors in the Emergency Department at both hospitals to see and review critical information about the patient, prior to the patient arriving in the Emergency Department.

With the push of a button, LIFENET® allows EMTs to transmit a heart attack patient's electrocardiogram (EKG) directly to the nearest hospital's emergency department from the ambulance. EKGs provide critical diagnostic information about the electrical activity of a patient's heart.

LIFENET® technology can also transmit vital signs from accident and trauma victims being raced to hospital emergency rooms by EMTs and paramedics. "The LIFENET® devices combine the best of medicine with the most advanced technology available to benefit the people of our region," said Roderick Brodhead, MD, Director of Emergency Services at Howard Young Medical Center and Eagle River Memorial Hospital.

The visual communication that LIFENET® provides is especially important in a critical situation; such as a patient having a heart attack. This new technology will allow the ED doctor the ability to view 12 lead electrocardiogram (ECG) being performed by the EMT’s in the ambulance prior to the patient arriving in the ED.

The physician can make real time treatment decisions based on the data provided by EMS in the field which helps the emergency medical team get definitive treatment to our patients much more rapidly. “This technology will advance our ability to communicate with EMT’s and Paramedics responding to calls in the field in a way that best serves our patients,” says Sheila Clough HYHC President. “Receiving the EKG results of heart attack patients before they arrive at the hospital has life saving benefits,” she noted.

Emergency Department staff expect to being using LIFENET® in early July.

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