By Bridget Carlson, Harker Heights Evening Star
Metroplex Hospital along with the Harker Heights and Killeen Fire Department’s held a demonstration on Friday of their new LIFENET system, a comprehensive cloud based system platform, that helps EMS and ER teams share critical patient data to help care teams reduce time-to-treatment for patients suffering from a specific heart attack known as STEMI (ST segment evaluation myocardial infraction).
This new system will now allow EMS crews to send patient vital signs and EKG data to the hospital and doctors while en route to the emergency room.
“They (ambulance crew) will go into a house, acquire a 12 lead and enter the information into a strip then hit the transmit button on the box and it will send a strip to the computer here at the emergency room so the doctors can see in real time the EKG strip of the patient,” said Deputy Fire Chief Leon Adamski, Killeen Fire Department.
Once Metroplex Hospital receives the information, it goes straight to the doctor’s phone whether he is at the hospital or at home.
“It goes right to the doctors cell phone. They get an interpretation. They have people on a list and each one of those doctors will interpret it and will say yes this is a STEMI or no this isn’t a STEMI. It’s very impressive,” said Deputy Fire Chief Glenn Gallenstein, Harker Heights Fire Department.
The new equipment can mean life or death for some patients and reduces the amount of time it takes to determine whether the patient needs to be sent to the catheterization lab upon arrival.
“Time is muscle. For every minute that these guys are not getting the right care, they are loosing part of their heart. This might change a guy from being a guy who can come out of a house and walk around or a guy who is now stuck in a wheelchair. Those minutes are going to be his muscle and his heart. Every second counts,” said Gallenstein.
“The ER will get this information on their computer. The bells and whistles go off to alert them that they have a possible STEMI coming and the doctors, if they are off duty, come in and they know whether to ramp up the STEMI team or to report to the ER directly. It’s basically notification to the cath lab earlier,” said Adamski.
Funding for the new LIFENET system was provided by the Metroplex Health System Foundation.
“All of this is from the foundation. They donated the modem that will actually send the strips to the local ambulance services. We got 10 of them for Killeen,” said Adamski.
“We got four of them for Harker Heights and without them we probably would not have gotten them,” said Gallenstein.
The Metroplex Health System Foundation first found out about the need through the head of Cardiology, Dr. Ahmad who presented the idea to the board.
“We found the need and we are learning a lot today about what we funded. Dr. Ahmad presented the need and the board voted on it and here we are,” said Foundation Chair, Becky Day.
“There is just a huge growing need in the community, and we are just thrilled that we had the opportunity to help the community, save lives, and improve heart health” said Foundation Manager Daphne Meade.