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New technology allows hospitals, EMS to share crucial patient information

Fatima Hospital and Roger Williams Medical Center are the first hospitals in Rhode Island to utilize Twiage, a new technology that enables first responders to send crucial information about a patient’s status, symptoms, and needed care to a hospital before arrival. On April 11, EMS teams from Providence rescue used Twiage to communicate with both the Roger Williams and Fatima Hospital Emergency Departments while en route with patients.

Nine cities and towns in Rhode Island have already trained their EMS professionals to utilize Twiage and those rescue teams are using the technology to better communicate with the Emergency Departments at both CharterCARE hospitals.

“My members love Twiage,” said Providence EMS rescue chief Zach Kenyon. “Having an app on the phone makes it so easy and fast, which frees up valuable time for patient care.”

With the Twiage app, EMS teams can send videos or photos of patients and information like symptoms, medications, or tests like an EKG performed on the rescue. All of this information can help the Emergency Department team better assess needs while preparing for the patient’s arrival. Twiage also allows EMS professionals to provide accurate GPS tracking of their vehicle so hospitals have a more accurate idea of arrival time.

“Timely care is essential – and in some cases, lifesaving – when it comes to emergency medicine,” said Rebecca Broccoli, Associate Director, Emergency Services, CharterCARE. “Real-time information and GPS tracking for incoming rescues allows us to better prepare for an ambulance’s arrival so we can accelerate potentially lifesaving emergency care.”

Armed with this information in advance, staff in the Emergency Department can map out a course of action for patients before their arrival. The information is then transmitted back to the paramedic through the app, which reduces time in the Emergency Room waiting area and introduces the patient more quickly to direct care. This can be especially important when a patient is exhibiting symptoms of a stroke or similar condition where immediate care is critical.

“CharterCARE has a history of leadership in emergency medicine,” said John J. Holiver, CharterCARE CEO. “We are home to the state’s only elder-friendly hospital emergency departments, were the first to post our ED wait times on our websites, and now, are the first to utilize Twiage.”

Twiage is a secure, HIPAA-compliant web app. Once the EMS team arrives at the Emergency Department, the patient’s medical information is deleted from the rescue teams’ app and becomes irretrievable.

“We are proud to be the first hospitals in Rhode Island to utilize Twiage,” said Dr. John Jardine, EMS Director for CharterCARE. “By embracingthis innovation, we are ensuring patients get diagnosed and treated more quickly, which can make a tremendous difference in both outcomes and a patient’s experience.”

Pictured below at the top is the Providence EMS crew, which became the first to use Twiage at Roger Williams Medical Center on April 12. EMS team members from the first two crews that utilized Twiage are pictured here with Demetra Ouellette, President, Roger Williams Medical Center, Rebecca Broccoli, Associate Director, Emergency Services, CharterCARE, and Darlene Cuhna, Chief Operating Officer, CharterCARE.

In the bottom picture is an EMS crew from Smithfield, which was among the first in the state to get trained in the use of Twiage. The crew members are pictured outside the Fatima Hospital Emergency Department with Rebecca Broccoli, Associate Director, Emergency Services, CharterCARE (left) and Chris Godin, RN, Clinical Nurse Leader of the Fatima Emergency Department.