FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MYERS, Fla. (March 12, 2002) – Paramedics and EMTs with Lee County Emergency
Medical Services (EMS) will soon be capturing patient data at the scene using
handheld computers – a system that should improve accuracy and increase
Board of Lee County Commissioners approved the $418,000 purchase of the
computers today with $177,000 of that coming from a state Bureau of EMS matching
grant. The vendor is HealthWare Solutions.
money will allow the county to buy the system and 35 computers.
Lee County EMS operates 21, 24-hour ambulances and four, 12-hour
ambulances on the road.
EMS crews complete paper “run reports” – which detail patient data,
medications used, and where and how the patient was transported – during and
after the call. The paper run report requires darkening in the appropriate
circles on more than 100 possible options, which are later read by a computer.
electronic data collection system will allow the paramedics and EMTs to input
the data in the field. The system
will capture complete patient and call data, including patient demographics,
medical history, vital signs, scene details, billing information, assessments
and treatments provided. It also
incorporates error checking and data validation to ensure higher quality
reporting and reduce errors.
addition, crews will be able to plug the handhelds into computers at the
hospital to transfer the patient information.
Data also can be transferred from unit to unit, which will allow fire
departments using similar systems to transfer initial data if they arrive at the
EMS estimates the computers will save about five minutes of administrative time
per report – the agency does nearly 60,000 reports a year.
The information generated also will assist in the measurement of
operational performance and improve the agency’s database of call and patient
Lee County EMS provides
out-of-hospital advanced life support response and care to more than 50,000
citizens and visitors each year and also operates an air ambulance helicopter.
Its annual budget is $21.4 million and it employs more than 200 people.
This year, EMS celebrates its 30th Anniversary serving the residents and
visitors of Lee County. To learn
more about Lee County EMS, visit its web site at www.lee-county.com/ps/EMS/.