Case Study: Improved Data Flow Between Hospitals and EMS

Posted on May 29, 2018

The largest hospital systems in the nation coordinate numerous treatment facilities, process thousands of transports, work with dozens of EMS agencies, and treat thousands of patients. And while the health care providers on the frontline fight to save lives and battle disease and illness, the paper trail for each of these patients follows closely behind, impacting EMTs, nurses, physicians, all the way down to the billing and health information management departments. 

In fact, those staff members at the receiving end of these detailed records often are hit with the brunt of the weight of health data, with information ranging from medical conditions at time of transport, to admission, treatment and discharge, all the way to billing and follow up terms. These staff members face mountains of paperwork on a daily basis, as they are tasked with crunching the numbers and mining for data required by state regulators looking for compliance, administrators wanting to improve care levels, and EMS teams wanting to review QA. 

Staff at St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Northern Kentucky faced just this reality, and the system was suffering from staff fatigue and related absences, like migraines due to hours of staring at screens filled with detailed information. The system processed roughly 35,000 transports a year among its five affiliated hospitals; at the time, only around 60% of records were correctly completed, making accurate comparisons or data mining inaccurate or even impossible. These needs, along with a desire to improve the handshake with its 35 transporting EMS agencies, led St. Elizabeth EMS Community Outreach Coordinator Joshua Ishmael and team to explore the seamless solution offered in ESO Solutions Health Data Exchange (HDE) software.  

HDE software is the only platform available today that can connect EMS and hospitals in multiple sites using a variety of EMS and hospital data sources. Thanks to its seamless, streamlined interface and reporting tools, HDE allows bidirectional data sharing between all stakeholders in a secure, auditable, real-time environment. Hospital staff can quickly access patient information recorded by EMS staff, and easily add to the patient record from admission up to discharge and billing. EMS agencies likewise can later review the full patient experience and access key data points to improve their own performance and expedite reimbursement.  

Ishmael explained that getting buy-in from all teams and departments that would be involved, the improvements from implementing HDE were immediate. “On day one, we had 98 percent compliance with CSN capture,” explains Ishmael, who partnered with ESO Solutions staff to offer stakeholder training before rolling out the new system. “It was seamless, because capturing the right data had been hardwired into the process.” 

St. Elizabeth saw additional improvements including a reduction in staff fatigue and an increased collaboration with its EMS agencies, who were very interested in reviewing transport data and looking for ways to improve efficiencies and performance. To read the full case study, visit the ESO Solutions Case Study library.