Article

(A146) Disaster Patient Tracking – Local, State and Federal Interoperability during a Multi-Hospital Evacuation Exercise

Prehospital and Disaster Medicine 05/2011; 26(S1). DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X11001476

ABSTRACT Introduction Associated with hospital evacuation is the need to track multiple patient evacuees from point of origination to final hospital reception. Patient tracking, a component of the hospital emergency operations plan, is vital to patient care; family association, resource management, financial reimbursement, risk management, and repatriation. Tracking strategies and plans can include a variety of vendors, hardware, software, and coordination issues. Hospital evacuee tracking plans and platforms exist at multiple jurisdictional levels but may not be interoperable.Methods Three patient tracking platforms representing a local, state and federal application were used during a multi-hospital evacuation exercise, initiated in New Orleans, Louisiana, May 2010. Simulated patients were flown and tracked to multiple patient reception centers in the southern United States, including the Federal Coordinating Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, and receiving National Disaster Medical System hospitals. This review summarizes tracking operations, patient data characteristics captured and interoperability at the Shreveport reception location.Results 7 New Orleans hospitals entered 51 patients for evacuation into Louisiana's web-based, At-Risk-Registry (ARR) database including 8 patient identifiers each. ARR data was shared with federal and Louisiana Region 7 patient evacuee receivers for flight manifest construction and reception planning. 34 ARR evacuee patients were indicated for the Shreveport, Louisiana, reception site. 34 patients with 6 identifying characteristics were entered from ARR into EMTrack, the local patient tracking system. A C130 arrived with a TRAC2ES manifest of 20 simulated patients with 6 patient data characteristics. The local tracking system was reconfigured for the hardcopy manifest; simulated patients were received at the airport; transported and received at local hospitals.Conclusions Tracking system interoperability may be challenged by tracking technologies, jurisdictional requirements and degree of implementation at the local, state and federal level. Tracking should be standardized based on national recommendations with local systems remaining flexible for just-in-time requirements.

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