9 min read

Q&A: How Can EMS Agencies Leverage Technology for Growth & Evolution?

By Team Pulsara on Sep 21, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Last month, EMS1, Fitch & Associates, and the National EMS Management Association released their third annual EMS Trend Report, proudly sponsored by Pulsara. Because the articles and advice found within contain such critical subject matter, we've elected to publish each segment one at a time here on our blog. Read, enjoy, share, and take to heart the following information brought to you by the most prestigious thought leaders in EMS.

About the Author: Rachel Zoch is a branded content project lead for Lexipol, where she has written about public safety products and issues important to police, fire, EMS and corrections since 2015. 

In this Q&A, EMS1 talks with Pulsara’s Kris Kaull about the importance of communication, how to improve it with the right technology, and how the role of EMS in the overall healthcare landscape is changing.

Topics: EMS Technology Innovation Trend Report Interoperability Community Paramedicine
3 min read

Are Pagers Exposing Protected Health Information?

By Kinsie Clarkson on Aug 26, 2020

Canadian Privacy Researcher Discovers Pagers Broadcasting Sensitive Patient Information on Unencrypted Channels

Healthcare has long relied on pagers as the most secure, reliable way to communicate between clinicians. But new evidence suggests that this time-tested communication method may actually be causing HIPAA violations for unwitting hospitals.

Topics: Technology miscommunication Telehealth
2 min read

Better Stroke Care for NY Mount St. Mary's Hospital

By Team Pulsara on Aug 14, 2020

New York Hospital Improves Communication and Door-to-Needle Times with Pulsara

Just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, care teams at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, New York realized that they needed a better way to communicate. According to an article published recently in a local Lewiston news source, Mount St. Mary’s chose to adopt Pulsara in order to open better lines of communication between EMS and emergency department staff.

Pulsara is a mobile-first telehealth and communication platform that connects teams across organizations. Through the use of mobile technology, Pulsara allows every member of the care team —from medics to nurses to physicians — to communicate on one dedicated channel for each patient. And for stroke patients at Mount St. Mary’s Regional Stroke Center, more efficient care team communication can have a major impact.

Topics: Stroke Communication Telemedicine Technology Connected Teams Interoperability Client Success
2 min read

How Telemedicine Can Help in Rural Healthcare

By Wes Wood on Jul 22, 2020

I grew up and lived most of my life in a very rural area. The majority of my EMS and ED nursing experience comes from rural settings, including a few years in a small critical access hospital. I was the only nurse in the 5-bed ER on night shift. We even locked all the doors to the hospital, and if someone presented to the ER for care, they had to ring a doorbell so I could let them in. No really—we did.

My, how times have changed with technology and medical advances. The recent COVID-19 crisis has affected virtually every healthcare professional in some form or fashion, and has potentially changed healthcare forever. Telemedicine has emerged to the forefront as a valuable option for providing care: both acute and chronic, in person, and remote. It’s gone from being a distant future option hidden behind miles of red tape to being one of the hottest topics in healthcare today.

Topics: Communication Telemedicine Technology Telehealth
4 min read

Interconnected Teams: A Centralized Approach to Acute Care Medicine

By Team Pulsara on Jul 20, 2020

Time and accuracy in acute care are paramount at every stage of the care process, starting with dispatch and carrying through to the hospital. Time is tissue, and communication errors can lead to avoidable injury or even death. Care teams can’t afford to not get it right. Patients and their families are counting on them.

According to The Joint Commission, 80 percent of medical errors result from miscommunications between caregivers during transitions of care. Fueled by data like this, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has acknowledged that there is a communication crisis in healthcare: “Problems with communication between clinicians are pervasive and clearly result in preventable patient harm,” they state in their article on communication between clinicians. “Seminal studies have shown that poor levels of communication exist between clinicians at all levels of the health care system. The Joint Commission has found that communication issues are the most common root cause of sentinel events (serious and preventable patient harm incidents).” 

Miscommunication and treatment errors stem from a lack of a single effective communication method. Pagers, fax machines, and radios still dominate healthcare communication, and these technologies don’t allow care teams to communicate with one another as quickly or efficiently as they could. In order to establish effective team communication, then, it’s time to consider how mobile technology can help. 

Topics: Technology Connected Teams Inter-Organization Communication
4 min read

Upcoming Webinar: Sharing Information & Data During a Pandemic

By Nathan Williams on Jul 13, 2020

COVID-19 continues to tax finite public safety resources, underscoring the need for efficient and effective information sharing tools. Since it appears as if the pandemic will be challenging us for the foreseeable future, take 60 minutes to explore how four FirstNet-approved apps and services (10-21 Police Phone, Pulsara, Rave PANIC Button, and Allerio) help agencies share critical information and engage with the community during these difficult times. 

When: Thursday, July 16, 2020 | 12:00 pm ET / 10:00 am MT / 11:00 am CT / 9:00 am PT


Keep reading to learn more!

Topics: Communication Technology Innovation
4 min read

Embracing Rapid Change in Medicine

By Greg Brown on Jul 10, 2020

It is obvious to those in our industry that healthcare is preparing for a seismic shift in the way we deliver, access, and treat our patients. Unfortunately, it took a global viral emergency for that to happen. 

Periods of great stress can be a catalyst for periods of fantastic innovation. Just like a lump of coal, the tremendous pressure that healthcare has faced during COVID-19 will transform our delivery model into a diamond. Traditional pipeline methods of care delivery, communication, and treatment will undergo rapid changes and iterations of process improvement. With this incoming wave of change, it’s time to let our hair down a bit. I urge all clinicians not to limit yourself on what you think can and cannot be done. 

Topics: Communication Technology Innovation
9 min read

COVID-19 and the Future of Telehealth: A Conversation with Dr. James Woodson

By Kinsie Clarkson on Jul 01, 2020

In late May, Dr. James Woodson, the founder and CEO of Pulsara, sat down with Brian Zimmerman of the Becker’s Healthcare podcast series to discuss how telehealth can improve patient care and protect clinicians during COVID-19 and beyond. During the podcast, Dr. Woodson explains the potential of mobile technology in healthcare communication, how Pulsara streamlines the communication process, and Pulsara's role in the future of telemedicine. Listen to the podcast here, or read the interview below. 

Topics: Telemedicine Technology Innovation Telehealth
4 min read

Upcoming Webinar: The Next-Gen Communication and Telehealth Plan of Action for Your Hospital

By Nathan Williams on Jun 22, 2020

Regulatory and reimbursement changes, coupled with present day challenges, require C-suite healthcare executives to think differently. Your acute care, collaboration and coordination solution needs to be scalable and flexible to span across all phases of healthcare. In this Becker's Hospital Review webinar, featuring experts from the Pulsara leadership team, learn how clinicians and thought leaders are creating a new path forward, based around HIPAA-compliant, secure, mobile-first telehealth communication platforms.

When: Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 | 12:00 pm EST / 11:00 am CT / 10:00 am MT / 9:00 am PT


Keep reading to learn more!

Topics: Technology Connected Teams Telehealth
3 min read

Leveraging Integration to Provide Reliable Telemedicine Even in Areas of Low Connectivity: the Pulsara + Allerio + FirstNet™ Solution

By Victoria Lee on Jun 17, 2020

First responders often face barriers when it comes to connectivity and the transfer and sharing of patient data and other relevant information. When they are out in the field responding to a rural 911 call, or treating a patient via telemedicine, the ability to have access to technology that “just works” is paramount. The current use of a hodgepodge of connectivity devices to transmit data and video to the hospital effectively can impede the ability of first responders to efficiently communicate during an emergency, thereby delaying medical interventions, which can result in poor patient outcomes.

Instead of wondering how to effectively transmit critical patient data to the emergency room, EMS personnel must be able to focus on responding to the patient’s needs and vital signs. That’s where Pulsara, a mobile telehealth and communication platform, comes in, simplifying and streamlining the care coordination process with live audio and video calling, secure messaging, image transfer, ECG transfer, and more. 

But what happens when WiFi is unavailable and cellular coverage is spotty? Together with Allerio and FirstNet, first responders have access to the FirstNet dedicated public safety broadband communications platform, allowing paramedics and public safety to refocus their attention on what matters most.

Topics: Technology
2 min read

Lessons in Care Coordination from a Kitchen Remodel

By Brittney Nelson, BSN, RN, SCRN on Jun 10, 2020

Right before shelter-in-place struck, my husband and I started remodeling our kitchen. It’s a relatively small kitchen, and we have done the majority of the work ourselves. Because of this, the number of people needed to complete the job was significantly smaller than if we had hired a contractor.

However, over the last few months I have grown increasingly frustrated by trying to coordinate communication between the small number of individuals required to finish the job! Between window installers, countertop installers, and tile installers, I have been making tons of phone calls trying to keep the ball rolling and ensuring everyone is lined up appropriately. It’s a lot of work keeping track of everyone, and it takes up a ton of time just to make sure everything will run like it’s supposed to.

You may be wondering how this relates to time-sensitive emergencies. Kitchen remodels are the polar opposite of time-sensitive emergencies in most ways — after all, they’re not at all life threatening or serious. But as I began to realize, they can be equally as frustrating in the coordination and communication department.

Topics: Communication Technology Connected Teams
4 min read

Navigating Healthcare and Emergency Services in COVID-19

By Kinsie Clarkson on May 06, 2020

Recently, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services interviewed Pulsara's Chief Marketing Officer Kris Kaull for his thoughts on the future of EMS and the need for improved communication in healthcare. Read the full article here. 

Topics: EMS Technology COVID-19
7 min read

How EMS Leaders Are Using Mobile Technology to Manage the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond: Top Takeaways

By Kinsie Clarkson on May 01, 2020

On April 28th, JEMS Webcasts hosted an enriching webinar featuring a distinguished panel of EMS leaders discussing how their organizations are using mobile technology to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they plan to use those same technologies in the future.

Topics: EMS Telemedicine Technology COVID-19
2 min read

How EMS Leaders Are Using Mobile Technology to Manage the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond (WEBINAR)

By Nathan Williams on Apr 27, 2020

On Tuesday, April 28th at 10:00 PT / 11:00 MT / 12:00 CT, JEMS Webcasts will host a webinar on how EMS leaders are using mobile technology to manage the COVID-19 crisis. 

Why double down on a broken system that hasn’t worked for disasters, active shooter incidents, or large-scale events? In the largest pandemic of our lifetime, learn how clinical leaders in both Texas and Colorado are using mobile technology to not only manage the COVID-19 crisis, but also lay the foundation for the new reality of EMS, including Mobile Integrated Healthcare, Community Paramedicine, and Telehealth.

Topics: EMS Technology Innovation COVID-19
4 min read

COVID-19 Changed How We View Telemedicine. Here's How to Choose the Right Solution for Your Team

By Kris Kaull on Apr 24, 2020

Why has the healthcare system resisted telemedicine as a solution for so long? 

Telemedicine offers a world of opportunity for innovation and improvement in healthcare communication. Clinicians can use it to assess patients remotely, advise medical care without having to be on-site, and consult with one another to bring patients the highest possible quality in medical care. We rely so heavily on technology in every other area of life, it seems counterintuitive that old, outdated technology dominates the industry where saving time can save lives. 

Up until now, that potential has mostly gone untapped. Why?

Topics: Telemedicine Technology COVID-19
5 min read

5 Ways Telemedicine Can Help Turn the Tide Against COVID-19

By Kinsie Clarkson on Apr 13, 2020

Why did it take a global pandemic to convince healthcare providers to try telemedicine?

Up until last month, telemedicine seemed like a healthcare innovation of the future to many. But now, as we face the fallout of COVID-19, telemedicine is exploding at a rate that was unthinkable only a few months ago. Such dramatic numbers might make us ask why this has taken so long, when the concept of doctors being able to see patients remotely has been around for years.

At the end of 2019, video conferencing platform Zoom had 10 million registered users. In March, that number jumped to 200 million. While a fraction of that number are medical appointments, physicians are seeing record high numbers for virtual appointments. Stanford Health Care is seeing 3,000 patients through televisits each day, an unprecedented 40% of all their clinical visits. That’s 50 times higher than in previous months. Massachusetts General Hospital has seen their number of virtual appointments multiply 10 to 20 times in the last few weeks.

Topics: Telemedicine Technology
2 min read

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Communication in Healthcare: Lessons from Decades of Marriage.

By Scott Stanley on Mar 13, 2019

The secret to effective communication is knowing how and when to share your message. This is something that, after 20 years of marriage, I am finally starting to grasp the concept of.

Let me explain: When we communicate with others, we can do so in two ways -- in real-time (synchronously), or we can deliver a message that can be consumed by the recipient when it is convenient for them, (asynchronously).

For instance, I have found that when communicating with my wife about an injury to one of my children, a phone call, no matter what time of day or night, is warranted. Information is shared between us that is used to make decisions in the care and treatment of those injuries, and an action plan is set in place quickly. This real-time, synchronous communication lets us be as efficient as possible under time-sensitive conditions. 

Topics: EMS Healthcare Communication Technology
1 min read

Creating a Culture of Resuscitation Excellence: Patient Handoff

By Jeff Jensen on Feb 11, 2019

Recently, NAEMSP published a study on the importance of the quality of EMS communication handoff during pediatric resuscitations. As quoted in the study, they state “The Joint Commission has identified ineffective handoff communication as a contributing factor in 80% of serious medical errors. The quality of handoff communication from EMS to ED teams for critically ill pediatric patients needs further exploration.”

Topics: Healthcare Communication Technology
2 min read

The Staggering Cost of Inefficient Systems in Healthcare

By Hannah Ostrem on Jan 22, 2019

It is estimated that today, roughly one third of all healthcare spending is wasteful, providing no benefit to patients -- and that wasted money amounts to a humbling $1 Trillion. Further, studies show that hospitals waste $12 Billion per year on poor communication.  

With increasing numbers of big name hospitals reporting decreases in operating margins, this is an alarming trend. But where is all of this money going? 

Topics: Healthcare Technology
1 min read

How EMS Leadership in Colorado Springs Inspired Collaboration for Better Patient Care [White Paper]

By Hannah Ostrem on Jan 17, 2019

“In today’s interconnected and complex healthcare environment, an EMS leader must understand when and how to collaborate, both within the organization and with outside partners.”

Last month, EMS1.com published “The State of Collaboration in EMS” white paper, to help inform EMS leaders about the importance of and tips for collaboration within their own organizations and with outside entities.

One region featured in the white paper was Colorado Springs, CO. The region was struggling to connect the more than twelve fire and EMS organizations and five hospitals (who are part of two larger hospital systems), particularly when trying to communicate key information for time sensitive emergencies. The feature in the white paper discusses how EMS leaders in the area were able to unite all care teams, regardless of the entities they worked for, around a common goal of improving quality of care for patients in the community by reducing delays due to miscommunication.

Topics: EMS Leadership Communication Technology