ICE app adds 3 more hospitals [South Bend Tribune, Ind.]
(South Bend Tribune (IN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 28--GOSHEN -- IU Health Goshen is one of three hospitals that recently added the In Case of Emergency (ICE) Michiana smartphone application, which is used to electronically transfer medical information from residents to emergency rooms.
The announcement means there are now more hospital emergency rooms that can receive potentially critical life-saving information from either first responders or area residents themselves.
There have been more than 8,270 app downloads from August through Jan. 21, according to a counter on the website.
As a practicing emergency physician, Dr. Randy Cammenga said the technology will be especially useful when first responders assist an unresponsive patient or someone who cannot remember all of the medications.
"If you can expedite their care or only save one life because of it, then the app is worth it," said Cammenga, who is also chief operating officer at IU Health Goshen.
IU Health Starke and Woodlawn Hospital in Rochester also have become part of the technology network, joining Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka and Plymouth.
Saint Joseph Regional and Force 5 Media of South Bend collaborated to create the application that launched in August. It was developed for the Apple or Droid through a grant from the Foundation of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center.
After residents download the free ICE Michiana application, they can enter and store personal medical information, including medical conditions, allergies, prescriptions, physician instructions and other health-related data.
Area residents also can input their age, blood type, emergency contact numbers, and the names of primary and specialist physicians into the application.
First responders to an emergency situation or accident can send or "push" the patient data to hospital emergency rooms prior to their arrival.
"The availability of this information to our emergency department will improve response times during critical windows," Cammenga said. "This is another step in our technology march for people to connect to us, and us to them. We see it becoming more and more useful."
Cammenga said IU Health Goshen is paying about $3,500 annually to participate in the venture, which Saint Joseph Regional has made available to all area hospitals.
"I would like to see something like this becoming more widespread as opposed to (each hospital) creating their own wheel, so to speak," Cammenga said. "You don't want 50 states with 50 ways of doing this."
Woodlawn Hospital emergency department staff will work with Fulton County EMS to become familiar with the technology.
If you don't own a smartphone, ICE Michiana kits that include a plastic tube for vital documents are also available. The tube should be placed in the refrigerator. Patient information can be provided by radio or phone to hospitals that are not part of the program.
For more information about the
smartphone application, go to
Staff writer Heidi Prescott:
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