Wildfires: Data access in times of disaster

By | April 22, 2019

To help those responding to disasters like the wildfires ravaging California every year, authorities have created the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE).

PULSE is a web application connecting HIE organisations and other data sources in order to be used during disaster scenarios and enable volunteers to help those being evacuated.

It was originally deployed in the summer of 2017 for the Santa Rosa wildfire, and then in December for the Ventura wildfires, developed through funding from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.

The most recent issue of the HIMSS Insights eBook looked at the potential of the tool in helping to address healthcare needs when disasters strike.

“It’s a new system that needs to be exercised and we are still learning some things,” Robert Cothren, executive director of the California Association of Health Information Exchanges, told Insights.

“We are looking at making PULSE available nationally. There are many areas of the country that experience large scale disasters and need critical information on patients and PULSE was designed to work in areas outside of California and we are looking at ways we can get it working beyond that point,” Cothren added.

The full article can be accessed here.

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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