Imagine EMS crews find you unconscious at a local store but have no idea about your medical history. Do you have any drug allergies? What medications are you taking? If medical transport to a hospital is needed, how will your loved ones be notified in a timely manner?
Medics from Humboldt General Hospital's Emergency Medical Services usually have to rummage through purses and wallets for patient identity or rely on the patient themselves, but now local residents are being encouraged to register for a web-based program that will give EMS crews the ability to not only access a patient's medical information but also, with one click, contact anyone that person wants to be notified in case of emergency.
The Invisible Bracelet® program allows people to register their medical information and up to 10 emergency contacts on a secure web site accessible to HGH EMS personnel while on scene, at the patient's side. In essence, the program acts as a virtual medical identification bracelet.
The American Ambulance Association (AAA), the voice for ambulance services nationwide, has created the web-based national emergency health registry through a partnership with Docvia.
Jim Finger, president of the AAA, said invisibleBracelet.org (iB), will revolutionize patient services and become the new standard of practice for the ambulance services industry.
"For millions of Americans, iB will, and should, become an essential," he said. "This voluntary method of information sharing between EMS providers and patients could be just the thing that saves more lives and relieves anxiety for family members."
Humboldt General Hospital EMS Director Pat Songer said his agency is one of the first AAA-affiliated EMS providers to support the national rollout of the iB web service.
"Having the right information is so critical in our being able to provide good patient care," said Songer. "We are on the frontline and we don't usually have a lot of time to dig through people's belongings to find out about their medications or allergies."
Songer continued, "This web service will save precious minutes, which will translate into saving lives."
Songer shared the example of a diabetic patient. "In just a few seconds, we could know that person has diabetes, we could know not only about the diabetes history, but also how much insulin the patient takes, the hospital they prefer, or any other information the patient chooses to put into the Invisible Bracelet program."
Songer continued, "And once the patient is stabilized, our crews can click one button on the patient's Invisible Bracelet profile and send a notice to all the patient's emergency contacts by voice message, e-mail or even text message that the patient is being transported and the hospital destination."
Songer added, "It just makes so much sense in terms of patient care."
Humboldt General Hospital plans to promote the program heavily over the coming months in an effort to register as many area residents as possible. The service costs $10 per member, per year.
To learn more or to enroll in the Invisible Bracelet program, visit www.invisiblebracelet.org
or call (775) 623-5222, ext. 263.