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Pre-Hospital Real-time cOMmunication using Pulsara Technology (PROMPT) Project

Every minute between symptoms starting and receiving treatment can make a difference to patients experiencing stroke or cardiac events. The Pre-hospital Real-time Communication using Pulsara Technology (PROMPT) project examines how using the Pulsara STOP stroke/STEMI smartphone application (Pulsara) can assist in delivering timely care to patients experiencing acute cardiovascular conditions by facilitating communication between pre-hospital and in-hospital personnel.  

Aims

The aim of the project is to improve acute care for patients who are experiencing a suspected stroke or suspected STEMI by streamlining communication between pre-hospital and in-hospital personnel. To achieve this aim, we have implemented the Pulsara smartphone app across 25 Ambulance Victoria branches involving more than 200 paramedics, and 2 regional hospitals, Bendigo Health and Ballarat Health Services, involving more than 200 in-hospital clinicians from emergency departments, neurology, cardiology and radiology.

Patients experiencing stroke or heart attack symptoms must be assessed, diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible by medical emergency experts. Every minute between symptoms starting and medical care can make a difference to patient outcomes. However, less than half of eligible patients receive treatment within recommended clinical guidelines: <30 minutes of hospital arrival for heart attack and <60 minutes for stroke. Paramedics, clinicians in the emergency department, catheterisation laboratory/radiology and cardiology/neurology departments, must work together to provide medical care quickly. However, different communication methods are used (phone, page, fax) and the same patient information is shared multiple times, contributing to delays.

Preliminary results show that every stage of the patient journey is faster when Pulsara is used.  Further, the proportion of patients who are treated within recommended time frames has increased. Currently, the project is examining key strategies associated with sustaining the Pulsara usage over time and determining the cost-effectiveness of using Pulsara compared to current communication methods. In the future, we plan to expand Pulsara to include other emergency conditions, such as sepsis and trauma.

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