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CSFD tracking medical emergencies with barcodes

Posted at 7:31 PM, May 16, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) is now using barcodes to improve treatment during emergency medical calls.

It is a tool for mass casualty situations that is also benefiting daily calls for individuals.

“Everything that we do is for the patient to make things better for the patient, faster, transport faster care,” said Medical Lieutenant, Brian Ebmeyer.

A recent protocol update is using wristbands with barcodes for all calls.

“We put them on every patient,” said Ebmeyer, “So we're in that muscle memory kind of mode."

The practice comes in the aftermath of the Club Q mass casualty incident in 2022.

"We didn't have it. It wasn't up and running. But within a month after that, that accelerated and showed us the need and usefulness of that banding system."

The barcode bands were an update in the works for an app called Pulsara that was already in use by CSFD.

The app is a real time link between paramedics on a scene, ambulance crews, and the doctors and nurses on duty in emergency rooms.

Anyone in the link can scan the barcode to get information

“They're up to speed with everything that's been done to that patient, their vital signs, name, date of birth. So you don't have to repeat that process over and over.”

During mass casualty incidents it can also prevent one hospital from becoming overwhelmed with patients, while other emergency departments are less crowded.

“Everybody in our system informed on where that patient is, what hospital they went to, where they are in their treatment process."

Organization and tracking are the foundations of the bar coding system and it can expedite treatment.

That that happens in route and when an individual arrives at the hospital.

It can get them to the specific care they need more quickly.

Realtime information in advance allows medical pros to make decisions before a patient arrives at the hospital.

Ebmeyer said, “The hospital has resources where we completely bypass the emergency room and they go right to a CT scan for a stroke, they go right to labor and delivery, they go right to the cath lab without even stopping in the emergency room.”

Saving time can save lives during medical emergencies.

Technology is helping improve and shrink the treatment timeline.


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