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Saving Time When Seconds Count in an Emergency? There’s an App for That

May 12, 2022

Hartford HealthCare is using a new app that combines the immediacy of Twitter with the patient triage process to save time in emergency medical situations. HHC is the first fully integrated healthcare system in the northeast to use Twiage, which is a combination of the words “Twitter” and “triage,” to ensure patients receive timely, well-coordinated care. Twiage is a pre-hospital, two-way communication system that allows EMTs and paramedics to communicate directly and effectively with doctors, nurses and medical personnel prior to their arrival at the hospital with a patient who is critically ill or injured. “Twiage is a game changer when it comes to patient care,” said Kevin Ferrarotti, senior system director for Hartford HealthCare Emergency Medical Services. “Ordinarily, when an EMS company is enroute to a hospital, they depend on radios, which can sometimes be intermittent based on service. Passing along information can also involve multiple people, too. It’s like playing a game of telephone. Twiage eliminates any communication barriers by directly supplying clinical teams at the hospital with real-time information. An EMT or paramedic can send the information in 20 seconds or less – whereas before it would sometimes take a few minutes over the radio.” For example, if someone is involved in a serious car accident, EMTs can pre-register the patient and send detailed information to the hospital via the Twiage app about the patient’s vital signs, types of injuries and even photos. Staff at the hospital can assess the situation, determine the best course of action for the patient, activate their trauma team and have everyone in place and ready to go so the moment the patient enters the hospital the delivery of care begins right away. The platform adheres to strict patient privacy regulations. “This results in faster treatment for the patient because we’ve already assembled the care team based on the information that was coming into us through Twiage. We can even track EMS arrival by GPS so we know exactly where they are and when they’ll be coming through our doors,” said David Buono, MD, chief of emergency medicine at The Hospital of Central Connecticut.