7 min read

How Austin-Travis County Uses Pulsara to Manage the COVID Crisis & Beyond

By Kinsie Clarkson on Jul 29, 2020

As EMS agencies all over the country have struggled to handle COVID-19, many are searching for answers. How do we prepare for possible future waves of COVID-19? Outdated technology cannot keep up with the variety of new challenges. Is there a way to streamline communication and use mobile technology to solve problems and still deliver high-quality patient care? Could such a solution be flexible and scalable, able to handle any situation—even a pandemic?

When COVID-19 hit, Austin-Travis County EMS, serving the Austin, Texas area, had the tools at their disposal to build an efficient system to help mitigate the crisis. They embraced mobile technology in an effort to improve communication, minimize the risk of exposure to healthcare providers, and continue to provide patients with the smartest and most effective quality of care.

Topics: EMS Communication Connected Teams Community Paramedicine COVID-19 Client Success
13 min read

Stupidity in EMS: Mitigating the 7 Risk Factors for Making Mistakes

By Kinsie Clarkson on Jul 17, 2020

There’s one thing in EMS that we don’t often talk about but can all relate to: making stupid decisions.

What causes us to do stupid things, and what can we do to avoid those risks? Pulsara’s CMO Kris Kaull recently made a remote guest appearance on The MCHD Paramedic Podcast to talk with Dr. Casey Patrick, Assistant Medical Director for the Montgomery County Hospital District EMS service, about what we can do to better handle the situations that put us at the greatest peril of making mistakes. Read on for the highlights of the discussion, or listen to the full recording below.

Topics: EMS Medical Error
2 min read

EMS.gov: How Fire and Emergency Medical Services Should Respond to Civil Unrest

By Kinsie Clarkson on Jun 24, 2020

EMS.gov recently published a list of best practices for medics to implement during periods of heightened community tension. Since the services offered by EMS are often needed during situations of civil unrest or social upheaval, it's crucial that medics are equipped with plans and protocols specific to these scenarios ahead of time, in efforts to reduce their risk of personal harm.

The list includes practical suggestions for EMS personnel, stations, apparatus, and communication with the community. The guide also covers recommendations to keep in mind for operations, covering topics like coordinating response activities, modifying operations based on perceived threat or risk, maintaining situational awareness, and recommendations for responding to tense situations during COVID-19.

Recommendations for EMS personnel are as follows:

Topics: EMS
9 min read

Best Practices in EMS Triage and Transport Destinations: Top Takeaways

By Kinsie Clarkson on Jun 15, 2020

On May 26th, NAEMT hosted a webinar roundtable discussion featuring three distinguished medical directors to discuss how their organizations have been handling triage and transportation decisions during COVID-19, what processes they’ve put in place, and how they hope to continue these practices in the future. Watch the full webinar below, or continue reading for our top seven highlights.

Topics: EMS COVID-19 Telehealth
5 min read

How EMS First Responders Are Embracing Mobile Telehealth Services

By Kinsie Clarkson on Jun 03, 2020

In 2017, a group of doctors and scientists conducted a survey study with paramedics to find out their thoughts on the future of EMS. More specifically, they were interested in finding out what paramedics thought about the possibility of using telemedicine in the back of the ambulance. Would video communication technology be able to help paramedics deliver higher quality care for their patients? Or would it be a time-consuming hindrance?

At the time, using video communication for pre- and out-of-hospital care was still considered a novel idea. Many paramedics expressed that the concept was a new one to them, which possibly accounted for the large number of neutral responses. There were also a number of potential problems with telehealth services that concerned them, including background noise, connection errors, interference with patient care, difficulty in set-up and use, equipment damage, and poor video quality.

Topics: EMS Telemedicine Telehealth
8 min read

Better Communication for COVID-19 & Beyond: Colorado Springs + Pulsara

By Kinsie Clarkson on May 29, 2020

As EMS agencies all over the country have struggled to handle COVID-19, many are searching for answers. How do we prepare for possible future waves of COVID-19? Outdated technology cannot keep up with the variety of new challenges. Is there a way to streamline communication and use mobile technology to solve problems and still deliver high-quality patient care? Could such a solution be flexible and scalable, able to handle any situation—even a pandemic? 

When COVID-19 hit, UCHealth Memorial Central and the Colorado Springs Fire Department were more ready than they anticipated. They had already put in place a communication solution that would enable them to better manage and mitigate the crisis. Though the pandemic brought unprecedented challenges, Colorado Springs used Pulsara to remedy many of the communication issues created by COVID-19. They were able to provide faster, safer patient care by improving care team communication and collaboration across organizations. This is their story.

Topics: EMS Connected Teams COVID-19 Client Success
7 min read

Celebrating First Responders: What Does Being a Paramedic Mean to You?

By Team Pulsara on May 22, 2020

EMS Week this year comes in the midst of a global pandemic. Every day, EMS teams across the country and around the world are risking their lives to bring aid to those in need. Today is EMS Recognition Day: a day devoted to honoring first responders for their unwavering commitment to serving their communities. In light of that, we’d like to take today to recognize Pulsara’s very own EMS personnel. 

Topics: EMS
4 min read

Failures and Wins in EMS and How to Mentor the Next Generation: An Interview with Kris Kaull

By Kinsie Clarkson on May 20, 2020

During the 2019 EMS World Expo last year, Pulsara CMO Kris Kaull sat down with Mike Verkest, EMS Training Officer and Host of "Tales and Stories from EMS World," to talk about success, failure, and his experience working in EMS. In celebration of EMS Week, we're sharing our highlights from that interview. (To watch the full interview, check out the video below).

Topics: EMS Leadership
3 min read

How EMS Agencies Are Embracing Telehealth (And Why It Matters)

By Kinsie Clarkson on May 15, 2020

EMS has traditionally been built around well-established response, treat, and transport protocols. The COVID-19 crisis upended this, expanding the focus beyond time-sensitive emergencies to things like mitigating the demand on local healthcare systems and securing communication for outpatients in medical isolation. These new requirements revealed a deep need for better mobile-first technologies that would enable dynamic communication between the EMS prehospital care teams and all the other hospital clinicians connected to the patient journey. As EMS agencies look for ways to better support patients, telehealth technologies are quickly becoming an indispensable part of their care systems.

In April of 2019, long before COVID-19, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services published a study that followed the success of the Houston Fire Department in using telehealth to provide patients with out-of-hospital care, effectively decreasing costs and hassle for patients who didn’t need transport. They concluded that “given the increase in costs associated with prehospital emergency care, and the increasing burden on these resources from continuous increased calls to 9-1-1, it’s imperative to redesign the traditional delivery system.” And further, they added: “We propose a model where more EMS agencies pursue adoption of telehealth on a pilot basis to determine their role for both acute and non-acute care.”

Topics: EMS Telehealth