Napoleonville, LA—Emergency Medical Response in Louisiana is unique and differs from other states due to geography and population density. Louisiana citizens and communities require EMS response that reflects their unique characteristics and needs. In response, the Louisiana Rural Ambulance Alliance (LRAA), in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, established the Electronic Rural Health Information Technology (E-RHIT) Network to provide rural Louisiana ambulance services with the necessary technological resources to improve patient outcomes, healthcare quality, access to care, and data collection.
Due to limited internet service in rural Louisiana, ambulance services are often unable to connect and relay information to the destination facility promptly when arriving on scene and during transportation. The E-RHIT Network addresses this need by implementing and enhancing current electronic Patient Care Reporting (ePCR). Using equipment awarded through E-RHIT, internet-based, mobile electronic reporting is used on-site and throughout patient transportation to input data including scene details, patient clinical information, and demographics. Data collected can be shared with the destination healthcare facility and incorporated into the patient’s electronic health records.
Since its formation over five years ago, the E-RHIT Network has provided advanced technological resources to allow for ePCR for over 30 ambulance services across rural Louisiana. In 2020 E-RHIT was awarded a contract from the Louisiana Traffic Record Coordinating Committee funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for this program.
In March of this year, the LRAA purchased and delivered 5 rugged Panasonic tough books to Plaquemines Parish Ambulance. Each laptop is equipped with required hardware and software that allows EMS providers to immediately collect and share patient data, manage billing, track inventory, develop reports, and improve healthcare quality.
"With this equipment, Plaquemines Parish Ambulance will allow not only for the collection of patient data resulting in better patient outcomes but also for the analysis of data to determine variations across communities in mortality and morbidity and to develop pre-hospital training efforts based on local data,” said superintendent, Jonathan Butcher.