Better tech lets EMS crews communicate quicker with hospitals
Published: May 24, 2012 04:06PM
Updated: May 24, 2012 04:05PM
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Courtesy Caroline Brown Chris Richards, Firefighter/EMT, left, Ryan Ray, Firefighter/EMT and Russ Avery, EMT Engineer of the South Jordan Fire Department eat at the EMT Week Barbecue held to honor ambulance crews.

When having a heart attack, every second is crucial.

Emergency medical service crews rushing patients to Jordan Valley Medical Center or Pioneer Valley Hospital use technology that can help save critical minutes — and lives.

The ambulance crews are able to transmit information from an EKG to the hospitals, alerting a cardiac team to meet them upon their arrival.

Already, for the most lethal heart attacks, the Pioneer Valley response time from having a patient come through the doors to having a stent put in a blocked artery is 60 minutes — 30 minutes faster than the national benchmark.

“The EMS crews we work with are amazing. They are our partners in patient care. Their expertise in the field is saving people’s lives,” said Holly Burke, state liaison for the two hospitals.

As part of EMS Week, barbecues were held at both hospitals on Tuesday and Wednesday to recognize the work of the ambulance crews.

Burke has worked as a registered nurse in critical care and the emergency department for 23 years, and now coordinates the communication and relationships between EMS crews and hospital staff. She meets with the crews regularly to review every case and find ways to improve response time.

“We have a lot of respect for the staff at Jordan Valley and Pioneer, most of which is directly related to Holly and her commitment to the patients they serve,” said Clint Paxton, captain of the West Jordan Fire Department. “Each month she takes the time to find quality instructors to conduct educational seminars in areas that are unique to pre-hospital care.”

The program has been successful enough to spread to Salt Lake Regional Medical Center and Davis Hospital and Medical Center, Burke said.

smcfarland@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sheena5427