Editor's Update: The ET3 program is mentioned in the below article. Please note that, as reported by JEMS.com on 6/28/23, the federal government is ending the ET3 program. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “This decision does not affect Model Participants’ participation in the Model through December 31, 2023.” Read the full article on JEMS for more details: ET3 Program Comes to an Abrupt End. Be advised that Mobile Integrated Healthcare and Community Paramedicine are separate initiatives and are unaffected by the ET3 program termination.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on EMS1.com as "Medical Direction: Stepping Up the Ladder." Special thanks to our guest author, Casey Patrick, MD, FAEMS, Assistant Medical Director for Montgomery County Hospital District EMS.
MCHD has been using mobile communication technology to allow medics to consult their medical directors, sharing audio, snapshots, and video from inside the patient's home or the ambulance
At Montgomery County Hospital District EMS service in Greater Houston, we looked for a streamlined way to step critically ill patient prehospital care up the ladder to medical direction.
Our telehealth journey began when we integrated the Pulsara communication app about two years ago, both as our intra-service communication tool and with a vision to progress to use it with our receiving hospitals.
Real-time communication allows the medics to consult a district chief, a supervisor, a high-ranking medic—or, as in our case—a medical director, sharing audio, snapshots, and video from inside the home or the ambulance.