RMC Partners with Local EMS on Time Sensitive Emergencies Initiatives to Save Lives
|The RMC Trauma Team led by Dion Franga, MD, FACS, RPVI, Ta-Tanisha Favor, MD, and RMC Emergency Department Director Brad Holmes, MSN, RN work with Life Net Transport Services and other local agencies to transport emergent patients requiring a higher level of care quickly.
The Regional Medical Center (RMC) has partnered with local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and transport agencies to improve processes in time-sensitive emergencies such as sepsis, stroke and trauma care.
“RMC’s collaboration with EMS and transport agencies in the region has resulted in better organized, expedited care of the patient,” said RMC Trauma Program Manager Era Zeigler, RN, BSN, BA.
A large focus has been the treatment of sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes harm to its own tissues and organs. Sepsis can affect people of all ages and can lead to death if not treated quickly.
According to the Emergency Medicine Journal, research shows that for every hour antibiotics is delayed after recognition of sepsis symptoms, mortality increases by 7-8% per hour.
RMC Emergency Physician Ta-Tanisha Favor, MD serves as the Medical Director for Orangeburg County EMS and St. Matthews Transport. Dr. Favor and RMC Emergency Department Director Brad Holmes, MSN, RN began holding sepsis training for the local EMS and transport agencies in January of 2016. This training included understanding the signs and symptoms of sepsis, and when to activate a “Code Sepsis” for patients arriving to the Emergency Department with symptoms of sepsis. Training also included storage, handling and administration of lifesaving antibiotics, and how to properly draw labs and blood cultures with IV initiation while in route to bringing the patient to RMC.
RMC began stocking EMS and Transport ambulances with antibiotics and supplies in early 2016. The EMS activation of “Code Sepsis” alerts, antibiotic administration, and blood drawing began on ambulances in the region in April 2016. Year to date, RMC has received over 750 “Code Sepsis” alerts from EMS and transport agencies.
Dr. Favor and RMC modeled this concept after Greenville County EMS.. Initiation of this project has reduced the incidence of death in many sepsis patients across the RMC region and state.
Other projects RMC has developed to focus on time-sensitive emergencies are the designations of RMC as both a Stroke and Trauma Center. These designations require meeting strenuous criteria.
RMC has worked over the past year with local EMS and transport agencies to educate and provide feedback on Stroke and Trauma Alerts. Education includes quarterly EMS meetings, EMS Cincinnati Stroke Scale and general stroke education, in-services, monthly Trauma Quality Committee meetings, Trauma Education Day activities, and rural trauma team development courses with the Medical University of South Carolina. RMC partners with EMS, Lowcountry Regional Trauma Advisory Council, Air Methods Helicopter Company, and transport agencies to provide International Trauma Life Support, joint disaster exercises, and Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses.
In addition, RMC has worked with local transport companies to reduce the amount of time emergent patients wait in the emergency department to be transferred to a higher level of care. In February 2016, RMC launched a transport trial. This trial included establishing time-sensitive emergency alerts, and parking two advanced ambulances at RMC’s emergency doors 24 hours, seven days a week. RMC partnered with Air Methods Helicopter Company to ensure that those patients needing a higher level of care are transported quickly. Within 10 months the transport trial at RMC has transported patients with time-sensitive emergencies an average of 76 minutes faster than prior to the trial.
“RMC is continuing to work with EMS, transport, staff and physicians to provide better educational opportunities and strengthen processes to improve patient care and save lives,” said Zeigler.