Database for children with special health care needs provides lifesaving details to emergency responders
Sept. 13, 2012 College News - A coalition of parents, emergency responders, community partners and hospitals has launched the Patient at Risk secure online database. Patient at Risk gives emergency responders specific, individualized instructions for children and youth with special health care needs. The program has been piloted in Milwaukee at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Baraboo, Waukesha and West Allis, and is being rolled out statewide.
“Kids with special health care needs don’t ‘fit’ into our routine emergency response protocols,” said Jesse Alba, Assistant Chief of Operations for the City of Waukesha Fire Department. “We need to know exactly what to do for each case – health history, allergies, dealing with specialized equipment, medications and other care instructions.” Alba added, “Responding to an emergency with any child is our toughest job. When we need to address more complicated needs, the more information we have, the better.”
Patient at Risk allows parents or guardians to create secure, detailed health profiles for their child to store and manage online. This information is converted into an Electronic Information Form (EIF) that can be printed and distributed to community emergency responders ahead of time, and also accessed online at any time as needed.
“Patient at Risk is a lifesaving program,” said Kathleen Beckmann, DO, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, who sees patients in the emergency department at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “Having a single database to access critical medical information in an emergency allows everyone to quickly and effectively provide care to patients with even the most complicated medical needs.”
The program is funded in part by the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program (HWPP), a component of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Foundation. Other partners include American Family Children’s Hospital, Baraboo District Ambulance Service, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, GFWC Oconomowoc Junior Women’s Club, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, The Regional Centers for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, St. Vincent Hospital, Waukesha Fire Department, West Allis Fire Department, and Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services for Children.