HIETexas Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies™ (PULSE) Enterprise provides emergency medical response personnel in Louisiana with access to vital health information to improve care for evacuated residents
September 30, 2021 06:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) and technology partner Audacious Inquiry, in collaboration with BCFS Health and Human Services Emergency Management Division, a global disaster response non-profit organization, activated the HIETexas Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies™ (PULSE) system to support the ongoing emergency response to Hurricane Ida. PULSE is a cloud-based web application that enables public health and emergency management authorities to securely retrieve critical patient data from across the nation using the national health information networks.
In late August, mandatory evacuation orders were issued for more than 229,000 residents in New Orleans and the surrounding areas due to Hurricane Ida. To accommodate displaced residents, multiple shelters were opened throughout the state, which received hundreds of individuals who were forced to evacuate homes or medical care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes.
BCFS EMD, which provides disaster response and sheltering globally, is operating and providing clinical care in shelters within the state. To support these emergency medical response personnel, BCFS EMD contacted THSA and Audacious Inquiry about using HIETexas PULSE to provide access to patient medical and clinical histories in Louisiana shelters.
“The acute and chronic health needs of many Hurricane Ida evacuees required emergency personnel and shelter staff to act quickly,” said George Gooch, CEO of THSA. “We are proud to support our neighbors in Louisiana through our work with BCFS and Audacious Inquiry by bringing prompt, accurate medical and medication history information to clinical staff serving evacuee medical needs.”
Many individuals in these shelters, especially those coming from medical care facilities, have acute and chronic care needs. Historically, medical personnel in alternate care facility and shelter environments have not had easy access to a patient’s health or medication histories, leading to difficulties in making informed treatment decisions. PULSE leverages several national networks, including Surescripts®, eHealth Exchange, Carequality, and CommonWell, to access clinical data for over 205 million individuals and medication history for 324 million individuals.
With the support of Louisiana Department of Health, BCFS EMD worked with THSA and Audacious Inquiry to rapidly address the legal, governance, and technology requirements related to deploying Texas’ technology in Louisiana. Within days, a rapid just-in-time (JIT) implementation was available for deployment. Using Audacious Inquiry’s suite of available JIT training materials, BCFS EMD providers participated in self-directed JIT training.
“Health needs do not pause during crises like Hurricane Ida, so it is important for medical professionals to have as much clinical and medical information as possible about displaced patients,” said Dakota Duncan, BCFS EMD Executive Director. “Being able to deploy a tool as simple yet impactful as PULSE has made all the difference for the nurse managers in our shelters as they work to provide better-informed patient care.” HIETexas PULSE was deployed in four shelters in the state of Louisiana, with capacity ranging from 200-500. A total of 25 providers were credentialed to look up patient health data that is being referenced from the national networks.
“We were proud to bring our national solution to Texas earlier this year and then to facilitate support for the residents of Louisiana following Hurricane Ida,” said Scott Afzal, President of Audacious Inquiry. “Ensuring authorized emergency medical personnel have the data they need to provide the best care for their patients in non-routine care settings is vital to mitigate additional health challenges that could arise from a lack of knowledge about a patient’s needs.”
About the Texas Health Services Authority
The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) is a public-private partnership established by the Texas Governor and Legislature for the purpose of promoting, implementing and facilitating the secure electronic exchange of health information. The THSA accomplishes this purpose through its health information exchange (HIE), privacy and security certification and supporting programs.
About BCFS’ Emergency Management Division
BCFS EMD is a national leader in disaster response, working with state, local and federal government agencies, hospitals, public health authorities and private companies to prepare and respond to emergencies. The organization has responded to natural and man-made disasters throughout the U.S. and around the world, providing robust, rapid-response capabilities to ensure no-fail missions for our public and private partners.
About Audacious Inquiry
Audacious Inquiry is a national industry-shaping health IT company that provides a connected care platform facilitating the secure transmission of actionable, accurate, and event-driven data across the U.S. healthcare system. Audacious Inquiry’s pioneering software solutions help providers and care managers be proactive during the most important moments, including during transitions of care. Audacious Inquiry’s trusted solutions serve more than 70 million people nationwide. Visit us at ainq.com, or follow us on Twitter at @A_INQ.