Emergency Medical Services

Emergency medical services (EMS) agencies — which send ambulances when you call 911 — also benefitted from recent trends in tele-health during COVID-19.

“You had a perfect storm where the call load almost doubled and you lost one fourth of your workforce,” said Dr. Eckstein, CEO of the EMS platform Tele911, which was founded in 2020.

Dr. Eckstein has served as the medical director of the Los Angeles Fire Department since 1996 and has 35 years of experience in emergency medicine. He and his partners sought to improve EMS operations after observing major inefficiencies in the system over the years.

“[EMS] hasn’t evolved since its inception over 50 years ago and it’s become very unsustainable,” he said.

During the pandemic, the Los Angeles EMS system “was literally crashing during the emergency,” with some paramedics waiting to get patients from the parking lot into hospitals for up to eight hours.

“It really underscored the fact that the system was very fragile, and the need to leverage innovation and technology to fundamentally change it for the better right now,” he said.

Tele911 allows paramedics to triage patients in their homes to determine whether or not they actually need to be transported to the hospital. Usually, they do not. But until tele-health, paramedics were often unable to make this determination on the scene.

“The overwhelming majority of EMS calls are not critically ill or injured people,” Dr. Eckstein said. “By integrating telemedicine into EMS, we bring a board certified emergency physician to the bedside virtually. Then, the emergency physician can determine very quickly if the patient needs to be transported in the first place, or if they can be treated at home.”

The latest trends in tele-health change the game for EMS agencies. Tele-health saves agencies time and money while helping more patients get the help they need faster.

Article Link: https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/news/trends-in-telehealth-and-teletherapy/
Author: Nina Chamlou September 21, 2021