ABC News 8: MedStar and Invisible Bracelet Program

WFAA Invisible Bracelet Story.pdf

http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/Invisible-bracelets-containing-medical-information-rolling-out-in-Fort-Worth-95660569.html#

 
by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

FORT WORTH - As the temperature spikes, so do emergency medical calls.

Medstar Ambulance is already responding to about 10 heat-related calls a day.

Paramedics often get crucial medical information from special bracelets some patients wear.

A new program could put an invisible bracelet on each of the 900,000 residents served in the Fort Worth area.

Paramedics never know what to expect on an emergency call.

In one recent case, a patient was having trouble breathing but his elderly mother wasn't sure why.

"I just know what they tell me because he don't tell me much," said the patient's mother, Claudean Gulley.

A new program being rolled out by Medstar could take the guesswork out of treating patients.

"The invisible bracelet program is a virtual way for us to be able to real time - at the scene of a call - be able to determine their medical history, their medical conditions, the appropriate way to treat them, even if they are unconscious and can't tell us," said Matt Zavadsky from Medstar.

Patients carry a card, a key fob, or a sticker on a drivers license, with a unique ID code.

That number links paramedics to an electronic medical record of health conditions, medications, allergies and emergency contacts.

"With one click of a mouse, we can send an instant message to all those folks either by cell phone, text message, voice mail, e-mail, that says 'hey, we're taking Janet to Harris Hospital. Meet us there,'" said Zavadsky.

Fort Worth and 14 surrounding cities are the first in Texas to try the invisible bracelet program.

For many patients, the invisible bracelet card could make emergency health care far more effective for everyone. The bracelets cost $5 annually.

E-mail: jstjames@wfaa.com