New technology will help improve emergency care between first responders and Chesapeake Regional staff

Posted at 4:47 PM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 17:39:30-05

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - People in Chesapeake will soon get faster emergency care with the new mobile app Pulsara.

It will be used by Chesapeake Regional Medical Center's medical professionals and the Chesapeake Fire Department (EMS) to treat patients more efficiently.

They are the first in the region to roll out the app. It costs less than $150,000, and it was made possible through funding by the Chesapeake Regional Health Foundation.

"It will give us a head start on being prepared or getting the appropriate treatment started," said Dr. Lewis Siegel at Chesapeake Regional. "We started training last week, but we've been getting very familiar with it for a while."

Medical errors cause up to 400,000 deaths per year and 80 percent of errors stem from miscommunication, according to Pulsara's website. The new technology is supposed to help decrease those numbers.

Chief Medical Officer for the Chesapeake Fire Department (EMS) Thomas Schwalenberg said, “The normal communication process has been by radio. So if you think about the telephone game - if I tell a friend, I tell a friend and I tell a friend - there’s gaps in communication.”

The Pulsara app can share a patient’s health information in real time so that everyone is on the same page. Medical professionals can text, send audio clips or video in real time.

“If we want to show the physician at the hospital a picture of the patient, we have the ability to do that," added Schwalenberg. "We can take a picture of their driver's license so that the patient can be ready registered before we even show up at the hospital”

Both Chesapeake Regional and first responders say they’re confident the app will make a difference.

Currituck, Pasquotank-Camden and Navy Regional EMS teams will also receive training on using Pulsara as well.

“We’re phasing this process in so that everybody gets comfortable with it, but it’s a mandatory process for all of our providers.”

First responders and medical professionals will start using the Pulsara app on January 7, 2019.