EDITOR'S NOTE: A few months ago, a Pulsara client reached out with a question which we then consulted one of our other rock star clients about! Dave Edgar is Assistant Chief at the City of West Des Moines EMS, and is a champion Pulsara user. In addition, his expertise in EMS and hospital relations makes him a fantastic consultant for questions related to integrating teams and breaking down silos. We hope you enjoy this first "Dear Dave" post!

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"Dear Dave - We want to increase utilization of Pulsara in our region but are having challenges getting some of the hospitals to participate. What are your recommendations for getting our local hospitals more engaged?"

Dear Fellow Pulsara Fan,

It's no secret -- gaining hospital support for anything that requires a change in process can be challenging. In my experience, there are three main questions you should be ready to answer when encouraging hospitals to participate in a new software like Pulsara. Hospitals want to know:

1. If they need special equipment (they don't).
2. Whether it is HIPAA compliant (It is).
3. If it is going to cost them anything -- we'll cover this conversation in Part 2 of this post.

In Des Moines, we work with two very large health systems and both systems rapidly approved Pulsara’s use once provided the detailed information on compliance and IT system requirements.

As a next step, I would suggest that you get as many of your area EMS providers using Pulsara (or if your region does not yet use Pulsara but would like to, gather those who are interested) together as possible, and then I would approach the hospitals in your area as a group. It will be much easier to move a hospital forward if they know an entire region of EMS is interested in bringing patients to hospitals that use Pulsara. Meet with the hospital or hospital system most likely to embrace the idea first. Once you get one hospital showing interest, it is easier and easier to get the others onboard -- no one wants to miss out on all the market share a Pulsara hospital gets over competitors!

Before you meet with the hospital staff, review the features of Pulsara and then decide which features might benefit that hospital most. Approach the hospital(s) with the ideas that will most improve their unique processes. For example, the hospital may be frustrated with getting patient registration information from EMS crews. Show them that EMS can quickly take a picture of a Driver's License and/or insurance card, and then transmit it instantly and securely to start the registration process prior to arrival. 

Another example may be a subscription cost the hospitals may have to pay to other vendors in order to be able to receive 12 Lead EKGs. By using the Pulsara App to transmit a picture of the 12 lead (or the full ECG data if they use the ZOLL X-series monitor!), they no longer need to pay the cost for the 12 lead receiving stations. Once you establish an efficiency or cost benefit, they may be likely to participate or get other decision makers from their organization involved to make the decisions.

I hope this has been helpful! In part 2, we will discuss budget objections and how to navigate them. 

Sincerely, 
Dave 

Dave Edgar

Written by Dave Edgar

Dave Edgar is Assistant Chief at the City of West Des Moines EMS, and a guest blogger for Pulsara.