Illinois hospital uses new app to communicate with EMS

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – An Illinois hospital has partnered with seven EMS providers to test a new app to improve communications.

The Twiage app was created to foster better communication between emergency responders in the field and personnel in the hospital emergency room.

The OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center began using the app on March 1 with the help of Eureka-Goodfield and six other EMS providers in central Illinois, The (Peoria) Journal Star reported.

OSF is the first hospital in the state to test the new technology.

Eureka-Goodfield EMS Chief Randy Wolfe says he’s excited to use the app that has options like texting, video clips and photographs. He says using photos can be beneficial to “describing a scene.”

Photos assist doctors in emergency rooms to understand the scope of the trauma and pinpoint where to look for internal injuries.

“Pictures can give us a lot of useful information on the mechanisms of trauma,” said Dr. Matthew Jackson, emergency room physician. “Is there intrusion into the vehicle? Did they have to be extricated? It’s very useful in determining the level of need once they get here.”

The new app allows such information to be sent directly into the hospital emergency room on a computer which triggers an alarm to announce a transmission from an EMT.

Most verbal communications will likely be done by text, although phone calls are also possible. Wolfe said texting is a great way to communicate because the scene of an accident is often noisy.