Audacious Inquiry’s Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE Enterprise) application helps states prepare for and respond to a variety of disasters, which are steadily increasing in frequency and severity across the United States.
2020: An Unprecedented Year for Disasters
Over the past several years, the United States has seen an increase in the number and frequency of severe disasters. These disasters range from natural disasters to public health emergencies and terrorist attacks, and all are affecting a growing number of individuals throughout the country.
This year in particular has highlighted the need to ‘predict the unpredictable.’ As of October, the United States has experienced 294 declared disasters, compared to a total of 101 declared disasters in all of 2019. When considering the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic alone, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four territories have declared major disaster declarations to assist with additional needs identified under the nationwide emergency declarations. For only the second time in history, the National Hurricane Center exhausted its regular list of 21 names for hurricanes in 2020. And, as more than 45,000 wildfires have burned, over 900,000 people have been under some level of evacuation notice.
The Significance of Chronic Care Continuity
Recognizing the increasing toll on human life and economic stability that these disasters cause, it is important to ensure we are actively preparing for the future of disasters using every tool and strategy possible.
A critical gap in community readiness is the continuity of chronic care when routine healthcare services are disrupted. Chronic health conditions may deteriorate due to a combination of disaster-related exposures and decreased access to essential prescription medications.
Often, individuals are forced to seek care outside of their normal care networks due to influences such as infrastructure disruptions, evacuation or population displacement, supply shortages, and the deterioration of mental health. As a result, healthcare providers, particularly those supporting shelters and alternate care sites, may treat unfamiliar patients with little to no information about their medical history, allergies, medications, and more, which impedes the quality and efficacy of care.
PULSE Enterprise: Improving the Quality of Care During Disasters
Audacious Inquiry’s PULSE Enterprise is a cloud-based application specifically designed to support emergency medical providers in non-routine healthcare environments. Through its intuitive user interface, PULSE Enterprise allows authenticated providers to view electronic patient data retrieved from a network of national health information exchanges, ensuring they are able to access the clinical history needed to more effectively treat each patient. Furthermore, PULSE Enterprise provides a consolidated list of prescribed medications, addressing one of the most common challenges in post-disaster healthcare.
Healthcare providers have relied on PULSE for several recent disasters, including the wildfires in California and the ongoing COVID-19 response. As disasters continue to occur, PULSE Enterprise can help response organizations ensure that patients receive the same quality of care as any other day – no matter the circumstances.