Tracking will benefit patients
SIKESTON - EMSystem, Missouri's new statewide, Internet-based communications system for medical services coordination during emergencies, is up and running at Missouri Delta Medical Center.
Judy Johnson, emergency room nurse manager at MDMC, described the EMSystem as "a way of tracking patients."
Developed in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, EMSystem will meet federal expectations for the establishment of a statewide communications system for emergencies.
"Should there be a terrorist attack or an act of nature like an earthquake it lets them know how many patients we can handle," Johnson explained. In the event of a mass casualty situation, hospitals can use the system to direct ambulances to facilities that have room for their patients. "We're usually open with no resource limitations but in larger cities they do have problems with diversions."
The EMSystem uses a Website at which participating facilities can upload their current status and check on the status of other participants.
MDMC has had a computer set up for the EMSystem since August but has recently added a pager system to notify the emergency room supervisor of any alerts or other changes that come up at the EMSystem Website.
EMSystem uses ground-based telecommunications lines with satellite-based Internet telecommunications as a back-up.
Participants in the EMSystem include 142 hospitals and 32 local public health agencies so far.