Having the most up-to-date information during disasters is essential in providing the best care. Through its novel use of technology, the Bethesda Hospitals’ Emergency Preparedness Partnership Patient Tracking and Locating System empowers hospital emergency management staff with real-time information, assuring key decision makers have the information necessary to make timely decisions.
This unique innovation, a collaboration of public and private institutions, overcomes traditional challenges hospitals face during disasters, where large surges of incoming patients place a major burden on limited hospital resources. Through its novel use of technology, the Bethesda Hospitals’ Emergency Preparedness Partnership (BHEPP) Patient Tracking and Locating System empowers hospital emergency management staff with real-time information about incoming patient counts, severity status, and location, assuring key decision makers have the information necessary to make timely decisions critical to patient care. Early successes include 100% accountability for patient transfers between hospitals, and a reduction of a historically 30 minutes to an hour, paper-based discharge process to a matter of minutes. The destination hospital now has immediate access to electronic patient data on the portal and time to prepare for the transferring patients’ arrival.
The BHEPP Patient Tracking and Locating System directly supports HHS’s goals for protecting American’s health and safety during emergencies and promoting adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. It is a cost-effective, exportable model that promotes the re-use of existing hospital investment in technology and can be used to manage the flow of patient and information in diverse situations.
HHS Innovates is one of the ways we are building an innovative culture at the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Innovates is a contest that recognizes and rewards action taken on good ideas. To date, HHS employees have submitted nominations of innovations for nearly 500 exciting new staff-driven innovative projects, and our employees have cast over 60,000 votes to select 42 finalists over seven rounds. This project is one of the finalists of HHS Innovates. Learn more about HHS Innovates.