Fatima Hospital, Roger Williams Medical Center 1st to Use Twiage Technology to Communicate with EMS

Thursday, May 03, 2018
GoLocalProv News Team

Fatima Hospital and Roger Williams Medical Center are the first hospitals in Rhode Island to use a new technology called Twiage that allows first responders to send information about the patients status, symptoms, and needed care to a hospital before they arrive.

“We are proud to be the first hospitals in Rhode Island to utilize Twiage. By embracing this innovation, we are ensuring patients get diagnosed and treated more quickly, which can make a tremendous difference in both outcomes and a patient’s experience,” said Dr. John Jardine, EMS Director for CharterCARE.

Nine cities and towns in Rhode Island have already trained their EMS professionals to utilize Twiage and those rescue teams are using the technology to better communicate with the Emergency Departments at both CharterCARE hospitals.

Twiage

With the Twiage app, EMS teams can send videos or photos of patients and information like symptoms, medications, or tests like an EKG performed on the rescue.

All of this information can help the Emergency Department team better assess needs while preparing for the patient’s arrival. Twiage also allows EMS professionals to provide accurate GPS tracking of their vehicle so hospitals have a more accurate idea of arrival time.

Armed with this information in advance, staff in the Emergency Department can map out a course of action for patients before their arrival.

The information is then transmitted back to the paramedic through the app, which reduces time in the Emergency Room waiting area and introduces the patient more quickly to direct care.

This can be especially important when a patient is exhibiting symptoms of a stroke or similar condition where immediate care is critical.

Twiage is a secure, HIPAA-compliant web app.

Once the EMS team arrives at the Emergency Department, the patient’s medical information is deleted from the rescue teams’ app and becomes irretrievable.

  • St. Joseph Pension Fund Collapses 

    In August, Rhode Island realized its largest pension fund collapse when the orphaned pension fund of St. Joseph Health Services was forced into a receivership.

    After months of legal wrangling -- one of the major learnings is that over 2,700 plan members face an uncertain financial future. The receiver has identified that the fund is underfunded by approximately $118 million. The shortfall is a devastating number as the existing fund has less than $90 million,

     
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    In October, the Rhode Island Department of Health fined Prime Healthcare -- which has operated Landmark Hospital in Woonsocket and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island in North Smithfield -- $1 million dollars for knowingly giving false or incorrect information as it pertains to the Hospital Conversion Act.

    According to the Department of Health, it is the largest fine issued by them "in at least the last 30 years."

    About the Fine

    Prime Healthcare -- Prime's for-profit entity -- has a pending application with the state to transfer the two entities to the Prime Foundation, its not-for-profit entity. 

    According to the Consent Agreement signed by all parties, Prime had led the state to believe it would change its status retroactively when the transfer was approved. 

    The Department of Health then discovered Prime knowingly transferred the status in 2016, prior to approval. 

     
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    The closure led to more than 800 employees losing their jobs.

     
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    GoLocal secured key financial documents of Care New England’s (CNE) and those documents unveil that the hospital group continues to struggle financially and miss budget targets even after the closure of Memorial Hospital.

    According to documents filed by CNE, the group continues to overspend its budget even after closing Memorial Hospital, “Total expenses for the System were over budget by $10.2 million or 3.4 percent and $23.4 million higher than last year.”

    The overspending is just one of the problems facing Care New England and raises more questions about the management and viability of CNE.

    According to CNE financial documents, “The System’s cash remains a primary focus of management; overall days cash on hand were 43 days."

    In contrast, hospital groups with strong bond ratings have more than one-year of cash on hand. “Standard & Poors Global Ratings has outstanding ratings on 156 health systems of which 142 are included in the median ratios…AA+ rating..Days cash on hand: 426.2 days,” writes Beckers Hospital Review.

    The lack of cash on hand is putting tremendous pressure on CNE’s management and is not improving despite the closure of Memorial Hospital.

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    According to CNE financials, the pension fund is underfunded by over $100 million. The fund did realize substantial gains which mirrored the performance of the stock-market.

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    For FY 2018, even after shedding Memorial, key indicators show that CNE's budgeting and financial performance are flawed, “Inpatient volume for the System (excluding Memorial) through the first quarter was overall unfavorable to the budget…”

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    Beyond the layoffs at Memorial -- over 600 employees, overall salaries and wages were reduced. Full-time employees across CNE’s other hospitals were also reduced — Butler, Kent, and Women and Infants all saw cost reductions. 

     
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