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New technology provides real-time communication of health information for patients at LewisGale

The program could decrease negative outcomes for patients being transported to the hospital

New technology improves communication for Southwest Virginia first responders
New technology improves communication for Southwest Virginia first responders

SALEM, Va – When it comes to saving a life, every second counts and new technology is helping first responders across Southwest Virginia cut down that time as they bring patients to the emergency room.

“The saying is: ‘Time is muscle, time is brain cells,’” Salem Fire-EMS Battalion Chief Teddy Crowe said.

Now, new real-time technology being used by the Salem Fire-EMS department is hoping to make that line of communication smoother.

“They can be working on their diagnosis and treatment plan for the patient ever arrives,” Crowe said.

The system allows paramedics to send important patient information in real-time and it’s sent directly to staff at LewisGale Medical Center.

“It allows the ED to prepare whatever rooms, trauma rooms or whatever, to really take the best care of that patient,” Regional Vice President, Cardiovascular Services at Lewisgale Medical Center Michele Gillespie said.

Case studies have found new technology like this decreases the likelihood of having a negative outcome for the patient.

“The ability to get real-time information to not only the end but also to the cardiologist prior to arrival to the hospital is just an amazing thing to have at this point. So it has been a wonderful tool for us,” Gillespie said.

“One of the major benefits of the new technology is that it allows fire and EMS crews to follow up on patients they may have transported to the hospital,”

“We can take a picture of that lesion, where the blockage was before and after and share that with our EMS colleagues and that really helps to build that teamwork, and you know I think it’s really exciting for everyone,” Gillespie said.

Other Fire and EMS programs in the Roanoke Valley have also started training to use the new technology.


About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.