(Posted Feb. 18, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Madison Health recently donated $69,000 to the Madison County Emergency Medical District (EMD) to purchase three upgraded heart monitors. The district bought a fourth with its own funds, and now all four medic units are equipped with the new LIFE-PAK 15s.
“Our old monitors were at the end of their service life and were outdated. We knew we needed to upgrade, but it wasn’t in our budget until 2017,” said EMD Chief Robert Olwin.
The hospital stepped in to hasten the transition.
“We decided to donate the money for the monitors because it is the right thing to do,” said Jennifer Piccione, vice president of nursing and clinical services at the hospital. “It is Madison Health’s responsibility to be a good community partner and do those things which benefit both other community agencies and the residents of Madison County.”
The new monitors provide squad personnel with better capabilities for detecting possible heart attacks and carbon monoxide in the blood stream. The color screens are easier to read in bright light, and wi-fi replaces the slow dial-up modems of the older models. Also, the new units factor in not just age but also the gender of patients in providing diagnostic information.
EMD took delivery of the new monitors in mid-January and put them into service on Feb. 3. Shortly thereafter, the squad treated a patient with chest pains; the new equipment correctly determined that the patient was having a heart attack.
The monitor purchase is one example of how the hospital and EMD make a habit of helping one another.
“We collaborate together almost every day,” Piccione said.
EMD transports many patients via 911 calls to the hospital. In emergency situations where the patient may need further treatment or evaluation at a larger tertiary care hospital, EMD can transport patients quickly from Madison Health to the other hospital.
“We are also looking at initiating a program called community paramedicine. This is a program in which the hospital and EMS partner to provide ongoing care to patients with specific disease states to promote wellness in those individuals and help prevent readmissions to the hospital,” Piccione said. “This is a relatively new concept in community health which we are excited to explore together and provide to the residents of Madison County.”
Olwin stated that local personnel plan to attend classes in Cincinnati in March to learn more about the community paramedicine concept.