Newsline Se­quoia Project’s PULSE aims to get pa­tient records to emer­gency health­care work­ers in dis­as­ter ar­eas; CMS pumps up plan to im­prove ru­ral HIT, feds prom­ise to pro­mote in­ter­op­er­abil­ity

Se­quoia Project ef­fort un­der­scores need to get in­for­ma­tion to doc­tors dur­ing crises.

Health Data Management - - CONTENTS - By Joseph Goed­ert

A new initiative from the Se­quoia Project, work­ing with mul­ti­ple health­care in­dus­try stake­hold­ers, aims to get elec­tronic health records to emer­gency med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als and health­care providers, re­gard­less of where pa­tients and evac­uees are being treated when a dis­as­ter strikes.

The initiative aims to build the Pa­tient Uni­fied Lookup Sys­tem for Emer­gen­cies, or PULSE, mod­eled af­ter a de­mon­stra­tion pro­gram in Cal­i­for­nia.

The ef­fort, led by Se­quoia, which op­er­ates the eHealth Ex­change na­tion­wide net­work to se­curely share clin­i­cal in­for­ma­tion us­ing a stan­dard­ized process, is get­ting financial and tech­ni­cal sup­port from the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Med­i­caid Ser­vices, the Of­fice of the Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor for Health IT, the HHS As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary for Pre­pared­ness and Re­sponse, the Cal­i­for­nia As­so­ci­a­tion of Health In­for­ma­tion Ex­changes, re­search firm Mitre and an ad­vi­sory coun­cil for PULSE.

“PULSE is a public-pri­vate col­lab­o­ra­tive to en­sure our cities, coun­ties and states are ready for when the next dis­as­ter strikes,” says Mar­i­ann Yea­ger, CEO at Se­quoia. “There are al­ways go­ing to be dis­as­ters, and we are al­ways seek­ing new ways to help peo­ple af­fected.” As help starts ar­riv­ing fol­low­ing a dis­as­ter, PULSE will au­then­ti­cate EMS per­son­nel, physi­cians, physi­cian as­sis­tants, nurses, nurse prac­ti­tion­ers, phar­ma­cists and other emer­gency work­ers, such as reg­is­tra­tion clerks and those who set up field hos­pi­tals and evac­u­a­tion cen­ters, so pa­tient con­ti­nu­ity of care doc­u­ments can be shared to in­form the best treat­ment options for pa­tients dur­ing the emer­gency.

Se­quoia’s role in the pro­gram is to sup­port a broader de­ploy­ment of PULSE. The or­ga­ni­za­tion has a pres­ence across all 50 states serv­ing the De­part­ments of De­fense and Veter­ans Af­fairs, CMS and So­cial Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion. □

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