Trauma and other emergency situations require immediate, detailed responses
A medical trauma is always urgent—that’s why government agencies and medical associations are establishing regional trauma systems across the nation. These systems help local health professionals treat individual in times of disaster and provide the fastest and most effective care when injuries occur. The Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) is the organization charged with coordinating and supporting the regional trauma system that includes 53 member hospitals in Southwest Texas.
The Problem: Traditional communication slowed emergency response
STRAC and its member hospitals can be called on at any time to quickly mobilize teams of medical personnel to care for incoming patients or to transport patients to safe locations in advance of the hurricanes and storms that often strike the region. The traditional process of retrieving phone lists and manually making phone calls was taking emergency managers away from their duties, sometimes for hours at a time. On top of that, key personnel often couldn’t be reached in a timely manner because either their contact data was not up-to-date or they simply weren’t at their phones, forcing callers to leave messages and try again later.
The Solution: MIR3 from OnSolve
Using MIR3 from OnSolve managers at STRAC and all 53 member hospitals can log in from any Web-connected PC and send alerts to hundreds or thousands of medical personnel simply and easily. MIR3 automatically contacts designated personnel on all of their communication devices—including landline, mobile phone, SMS text message, pager, email, Blackberry—and continues until a response is received.
The platform is fast and automatic, delivering notifications to thousands of people in just a few minutes. The system also reports all notification receipts and responses as they are recieved, so managers can see at a glance which medical personnel are available to carry out critical tasks. This allows managers to quickly send a notification without losing critical time that is best spent managing the emergency and coordinating the response.
Mass notifications role in responding to Hurricane Ike
In September of 2008, Hurricane Ike struck the Texas coast with sustained winds of 110 mph, a huge storm surge, and widespread coastal flooding. Houston skyscrapers had their windows blown out and furniture cast into the streets.An estimated 100,000 homes were rendered uninhabitable and power was cut to millions of citizens for weeks. Lives were lost, and the island of Galveston, where Hurricane Ike made landfall, was devastated.
Six days before the hurricane struck Galveston, STRAC started mobilizing 525 ambulances— the largest mobilization of ambulances in U.S. history. As Ike advanced, STRAC quickly responded to calls from hospitals to relocate their patients to safe locations. STRAC was able to quickly notify all paramedic personnel to report to various command posts, ready to be on the road in minutes.
To do this, STRAC used MIR3 to send voice, text and email messages to ambulance crew members, most of whom carry Blackberry devices with them at all times. STRAC managers were able to initiate each notification in seconds and mobilize teams typically within 20 minutes. Thousands of medical response and transport missions were carried out in the days preceding the storm’s landfall.
Why MIR3 from OnSolve works for STRAC:
- Notifications can be sent from anywhere , even while sitting in a truck using a laptop with a cellular or satellite Internet connection
- The intuitive interface and notification process allows staff to learn the system in as little as ten minutes and begin sending notifications and alerts immediately
- Prepared templates save time by using existing communications that have proven valueable in a wide range of emergency response and notification scenarios
- Group and permission settings are simple making it easy to assign and modify access, roles and permissions to individual hospitals. Each hospital has access to only its own lists, templates and administration functions, keeping data secure
- Each hospital maintains its own information
The bottom line
With MIR3, STRAC and its member hospitals have the ability to instantly communicate with thousands of personnel at once, freeing up managers to stay focused on other critical emergency management tasks. Communications that once cost managers hours can now be accomplished in seconds. Teams can be mobilized and deployed much more quickly than before, improving the efficiency of the regional trauma system in Southwest Texas.