Application of information technology in emergency for patients during the pandemic

23/04/2020 07:20

Pursuant to Circular No. 14/2014/TT-BYT regulating the referrals between medical examination and treatment facilities as well as the Health Ministry’s Decision No. 01/200/QD-BYT on promulgating the Regulation on emergency, resuscitation and poison control aims to help patients quickly and coordinate synchronously to bring the maximum effect. A team of young people at Viet Duc University Hospital has proposed the implementation of software applications to be able to transmit inter-hospital information.


Based on the guidance documents of Ministry of Health, and realized that inadequacies in emergency care for patients when the process of receiving and exploiting emergency information may cause delayed effects in processing stage, especially when hospital has to receive a large number of patients at the same time. Therefore, a group of young people of Viet Duc University Hospital (VDUH) proposed and submitted to the hospital’s leader for testing and application of software to integrate information about patients in transit (APP SMART EMS) over the past time.


Viet Duc is the last level of emergency surgical hospital, daily emergency for many patients with trauma, surgical patients needing intervention, on average, the number of emergency cases is about 200; The percentage of patients coming from outside Hanoi is imposing (over 60%). Emergency organization plays an important role, including: arranging personnel, facilities, medicine … and blood reserve planning – regularly checked to ensure maximum response. However, there is a situation that is passive in the exploitation of patient information transferred to the hospital. Hospital is largely overwhelmed by overcrowding, with patients who wait to be examined and handled late, which can lead to unfortunate complications. 


In the world, many countries have set up a dispatch center, which plays the role of emergency coordination between medical facilities, helping the emergency to be more synchronized and effective. The coordination center has the function of guiding medical facility/ambulance to move patients to the right address: nearest, professionally responding and most importantly ensuring on-site resources for emergencies.


In fact, VDUH has implemented a pilot project to receive emergency patients with the support of Department of Health Environmental Management (formerly Vietnam Preventive Medicine Department) with 115 and some hospitals in Hanoi. However, due to the limitation of communication devices (walkie-talkies) and undeveloped information technology (mobile phones, Ipads), it has not been as effective as expected.


Receiving the attention of hospital leaders, and following the development orientation, promoting the application of information technology in medical examination and treatment besides the ongoing Telemedicine Project, the group of young people includes: Le Sy Thoai (Nursing Department), Engineer Le Minh Thai (Information Technology Department), Truong Minh Tra (International Cooperation Department) were sent to study in Taipei, Taiwan in late 2019. They have access to models of information technology applied in health (Health Smart) so that it can be applied in hospital when they return. Thereby, testing the idea of integrating inter-hospital information in emergencies by means of a smartphone is quite popular nowadays.


According to Mr. Le Sy Thoai, leader of the research proposal team shared: The team conducted a trial between VDUH and emergency 115 ambulance by posting patient information on APP SMART EMS. Just a few minutes of operation, the medical facility that receives patient has received the information and is ready to take care of that patient. In case hospital is overloaded with patients, it is possible to proactively notify in time the patient-relocating facility so that they can have an appropriate treatment plan such as transferring to another facility which is ready to receive the patient.


The idea was experimented from November 2019 to March 2020 shows that the information management software on mobile phones has solved the needs of two units handling patients: sharing rapid information on illness status, treatment methods, prognosis, and subsequent treatment directions such as the need for human resources and expertise – has contributed significantly to increasing the effectiveness of emergency care for patients.  

Sharing information on mobile phone between emergency 115 and VDUH

In addition to above meaning, bachelor Nguyen Xuan Vinh – Head nurse of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Center, who has seniority working in the emergency department (ED), is also an advisor for the research team said :” With the current status of COVID-19 pandemic, the sharing of hospital emergency information via mobile phones is not only simple, saves time and costs, but also helps prevent and control infectious diseases effectively as no contact examination. Many years of working in ED, the receptionist is updated with the condition by the time patients come for examination, therefore it is very passive for emergencies, and of course there is a high risk of exposure to the source due to unprepared. We look forward to completing the software content as soon as it is allowed for wider deployment in the future. ”


Nguyễn Đức Chính,  International Cooperation.

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