4 steps to using CAD to improve patient outcomes
When every moment matters, Tyler Technologies’ New World CAD gets critical information where it needs to go
Sponsored by Tyler Technologies
By Laura Neitzel, FireRescue1 BrandFocus Staff
More than 350,000 people in the United States experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting each year, according to the American Heart Association. Death can result in a matter of minutes if proper steps aren’t immediately taken to restore a normal heart rhythm through CPR and defibrillation. Getting EMS on the scene quickly is crucial for the patient to stand a chance at survival.
Now imagine that medical emergency happens at 5 p.m. on a weekday, when roads are clogged with commuters and the caller is dialing from a cellphone somewhere in the parking lot of a nondescript office building.
Getting to the location through rush-hour traffic is one challenge. Finding the caller in a sea of people and vehicles is another.
Then there are the unanswered questions: Is there danger at the scene? Did a bystander start CPR? If so, when? Does the EMS unit being dispatched have the right gear for the situation?
Every detail that can help dispatchers deploy the closest ambulance via the quickest route to the scene or help paramedics understand the patient’s medical condition before EMS arrives increases the chance of a positive outcome.
Tyler Technologies’ New World CAD helps improve response times by putting critical information at the fingertips of call takers and dispatchers and getting it to the appropriate unit for action.
Here are four ways the CAD software helps streamline emergency response and improve patient care:
1. Gather the right information
When a 911 call comes in and the caller identifies the type of emergency, a defined questionnaire prompts the dispatcher to ask questions customized to the incident type, such as a stroke, cardiac arrest, drowning or car accident. The scripted prompts ensure that call takers quickly gather relevant information to guide 911 callers and to dispatch appropriate resources.
Once dispatched, the EMS unit can access the information gathered from the call on their mobile data terminal or mobile device. Dispatchers can relay real-time information on the patient’s condition, such as whether the patient is responsive, breathing or wearing a medical ID, as well as whether a bystander has administered CPR or a defibrillator. The dispatcher can constantly update the narrative as the patient’s condition changes so that when the EMS unit arrives on scene, they know everything they need to start administering aid.
“All that information is being transferred to them in New World CAD,” said Russell Gainford, vice president of software strategy and development for Tyler’s public safety division. “It's not, ‘Can you go here and check this out?’ It's an up-to-the-second information dispatch until they actually get to the person that needs help.”
2. Get to the scene quickly
Seven out of 10 911 calls now come in from a cellphone, so a person could be practically anywhere when he or she needs help.
In the past, a 911 caller had little choice but to be tethered to a landline and a physical address. With today’s mobile technology, a person hiking a mountain, lost in a snowstorm or stranded in a flood can be located with greater accuracy, so long as location services are enabled on their mobile phone.
On the dispatch side, New World CAD delivers geographical information system (GIS) data that not only ensures greater location accuracy, but also accounts for factors like travel time, turn delays, height and weight restrictions, road closures and other real-time information that can hamper a timely response.
With New World CAD, both dispatch and the EMS unit can access a real-time map showing the quickest route to a scene. With automatic vehicle location, dispatchers can also track the real-time locations of all ambulances and apparatus in their fleets, giving an accurate time to destination as well as distances of the closest backup units.
3. Keep track of time
In a medical emergency, time is everything. New World CAD automatically puts a date, time and location stamp on any information entered by dispatch or the responding unit to provide a full and accurate medical history of the incident. The system starts tracking activity from the moment the call comes into dispatch and includes when a vitals check occurred, when CPR was started, when the patient stopped breathing, etc., through to when the patient arrived at the emergency department.
“As they get dispatched to the call, the medics can then start working on that report with information already collected from CAD,” said Gainford. “So we already know who the patient is, where the patient is and how to start working on that scene. All information entered into the CAD system is transferred to the patient care report, so when they get back to the station, or even as they’re heading back to the station, they can send that report to the records application.”
4. Enhance provider safety
Any first responder may encounter a barrier like a locked gate that prevents them from accessing a scene or on-scene threats like a vicious dog, a mentally disturbed person or hazardous materials or weapons that may put his or her own safety at risk.
With data sharing and RMS integration, New World CAD offers greater opportunity for situational awareness so that responders are prepared.
New World CAD integrates with other Tyler solutions to access data like building plans and lock codes, as well as law enforcement data sources that allow dispatchers to obtain complete information on a person, vehicle or property, including prior incident histories and outstanding warrants.
From the first 911 call through patient reporting, quick access to accurate real-time intelligence through New World CAD helps keep dispatchers and first responders better informed, better prepared and better equipped to improve patient outcomes and save lives.