South Metro Fire Rescue Authority Innovates With Health IT

July 24th, 2015 | Published Under HIE Participants by Jennifer Mensch

South Metro Fire Rescue Authority (SMFRA) is a big operation. They’re the emergency and prevention service provider in south Denver for close to 200,000 residents. With 17 stations, 65 vehicles and more than 300 firefighters, there are a lot of moving parts.

The leadership at SMFRA are always looking for ways to improve processes, like staff training, and ways to take the best care of people during emergency calls. Late last year, they joined the CORHIO network so they could receive real-time hospital and lab information via the secure web portal. They are now using the HIE to improve patient care and develop immediate after-call quality improvement training with paramedics.

For patients they cared for, SMFRA uses the CORHIO network to follow up on how the patients are doing in the hospital. If they see any red flags or anything that could have been done better by their paramedics, they use the information for one-on-one follow-up training. And conversely, they use the information to tell paramedics if a patient they treated is recovering nicely – perhaps after a particularly tough call. “Nothing is more gratifying than being able to tell that patient’s crew that the patient made it out of ICU or is now out of surgery.”

What’s next for South Metro’s health IT innovations? They see CORHIO as an avenue for not only receiving data, as they do now, but for sending information on a patient into the community health record or to an alerting system at the hospital. “We want our information to transmit to the hospital when we’re on the way with the patient.”

CORHIO welcomes the opportunity to work with emergency medical service providers and hopes to make their data available to community providers very soon.