By The Star Staff
In order to shorten the response time in a medical emergency, Sen. Keren Riquelme Cabrera on Wednesday announced the filing of a measure that seeks to implement an electronic data system in ambulances so that their operators are aware of the services and specialists available at each of the hospitals in their service areas.
The measure also includes the implementation of a global positioning system (GPS) that tells the ambulance driver the travel time to each facility, with traffic data.
“After talking with personnel from the Department of Health, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the Assistant Secretary for Regulation and Accreditation of Health Facilities (SARAFS), the Puerto Rico Hospitals Association, and medical services administrators, we determined that in order to expedite the process of medical help to emergency patients, ambulances must be equipped with a database with updated data in real time on the capacities of hospitals in their area in order to take the patient to the ideal facility for treatment,” the New Progressive Party senator said in a written statement.
Riquelme Cabrera said the proposed system focuses on a database updated in real time on the services and capabilities of each hospital and/or medical-hospital facility, including the diagnostic and treatment centers in the area of operation of the various ambulance service companies, including state and municipal ones, throughout the island.
“Cutting response time is the goal,” the senator said. “For example, if a patient suffers fractures, the new data system tells them that a medical facility has orthopedists, among other resources, to attend to the emergency and thus will be dispatched for it; shortening the period of action.”
Riquelme Cabrera added that her work team is outlining the parameters of the new legislation.
“Each hospital and/or medical facility will have the responsibility to update its data, such as relevant services, specialists available, and capabilities for studies such as x-rays and laboratories, among others, in real time,” she said. “That information will be provided to the ambulance companies, which will have an electronic system [to direct their drivers], according to the nature of each emergency, to the nearest facility within their service area.”