Alert system enables multi-level communication for stroke treatment

Published: Apr. 15, 2017 at 3:09 PM CDT
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A new notification system is up and running in the Fox Valley, working to cue minutes of time off early stroke treatment, when time is most critical.

“Early activation is key to helping a stroke patient when they’re in that acute phase,” says Kristin Randall, Stroke Program Coordinator at ThedaCare.

That’s why Pulsara, the activation system now used by ThedaCare in the Fox Valley, is cutting down response time for stroke victims.

“Communication is there all the time,” says Abby Waerner, a lead CT tech at ThedaCare Neenah. “You don’t have to worry about getting a missed phone call or the ER thinking we’re ready, but we’re not ready. The app helps us notify everyone at the same time what’s going on.”

Here’s how it works: as an ambulance responds to a possible stroke victim, EMT’s call up the app.

“We’re able to open up that application right at the patient’s side, and put in the patient’s demographic information,” says Nick Romenesko, the staff development manager at Gold Cross Ambulance Service. “[We can] input pertinent information abo9ut their condition, and then with just the touch of a button, everybody gets that notification.”

Then, as the ambulance is headed to the hospital, everyone else is already getting prepared.

“It’s alerting us sooner than the patient’s here,” says Waerner. “We can get our room ready, and our table ready for the patient. It’s also eliminating phone calls, multiple phone calls, back and forth to doctors and the ER.”

Those who work with the app say the immediacy is the most important factor, stressing that speed can save lives.

“It’s a touch of a button,” says Romenesko. “Everybody who’s involved in the case will get a notification on their phone.”

“This helps bring us all together and communicate the same message to everybody,” says Randall.

ThedaCare has been using the system on stroke patients since December. It’s hoping to spread the system next to trauma patients.