PFLUGERVILLE, Texas– Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2 announced it has partnered with Tele911. Tele911 is a virtual physician consultation platform that integrates telemedicine, patient navigation and linkage to care into the local emergency medical services (EMS) that are served by ESD No. 2 ambulances. Currently, paramedics of ESD No. 2 transport patients of every priority level to an emergency department to be assessed by a physician. Many times, this results in response delays to more emergent 911 calls.
“We are excited to partner with Tele911 to provide additional medical resources during our EMS responses,” Nick Perkins, Fire Chief for Travis County ESD No. 2, said. “ESD No. 2 is dedicated to providing fast, affordable and quality care to our community and this partnership will help us ensure that our most critical cases are prioritized.”
With the implementation of Tele911, paramedics arrive on the scene, evaluate the patient, and determine if they are medically eligible to participate in a live telehealth visit with a Tele911 emergency physician. The Tele911 physician assesses the patient and establishes an appropriate disposition and treatment plan specific to the patient’s needs. Another important aspect of the partnership includes not only a next-day follow-up from the physician, but also follow-up by a licensed Tele911 social worker to provide them with linkage to primary care and local resources.
Chief Perkins stated that “The goal of this innovative partnership is to significantly reduce the number of non-emergent, low-acuity ambulance transports to an emergency department, which in return, increases resources and paramedic availability for true emergencies. We are getting the patient the right care that they need, while increasing the efficiency of our emergency medical system. ESD No. 2 logged 901 cases as of October 9, 2022 that were classified as low-acuity transports such as a prolonged injured back.”
In addition to providing a higher level of patient-centered care and reducing response times, it will improve paramedic morale and mental health by decreasing paramedic burnout and staffing shortages due to high workloads.
“We have found that the majority of patients who call 911 can be safely treated in the comfort of their own homes, thereby reducing the number of non-emergent patient transports to crowded emergency departments,” Marc Eckstein, M.D., MPH, Chief Medical Officer for Tele911 said. “We are excited to launch this partnership with Travis County ESD No. 2 and the residents of northeast Travis County as it is a significant step in transforming EMS and improving care in the community.”
ESD No. 2 is the first fire department in Central Texas to implement an onsite virtual physician and social worker consultation in the event of a crisis, setting a new precedent for fire-based EMS services. This enhanced medical service is available to residents who are served by ESD No. 2 ambulances.
About Travis County ESD NO. 2
The Pflugerville Fire Department (Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2) provides fire suppression, prevention and first response emergency medical care, and ambulance service covering more than 75 square miles of Pflugerville with personnel and equipment working out of five 24 hour a day fire stations. The Pflugerville Fire Department draws on its roots as a volunteer fire department to serve the community and its outstanding service resulted in voter approved creation of an ESD in 1992. To learn more visit: www.pflugervillefire.org.
Tele911 is an innovative telehealth company specializing in transforming emergency care by partnering with local fire departments and EMS agencies to provide real-time telehealth consultations with emergency physicians to avoid unnecessary ambulance transports to crowded ERs and provide patient navigation and linkage to primary care and social services. For more information on Tele911, visit www.tele911.com.