NY RHIO Brings EMRs To Ambulances

Even with a well-connected RHIO in place, and a healthy EMR on site, most hospitals have to content with paper records when ambulances pull up to their door. But in Rochester, they’ve changed things up.

The Rochester Regional RHIO has partnered with area EMS agencies to put technology in place allowing EMS workers to securely share data with EDs or primary care doctors, reports the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

The RHIO itself seems to be a hit — 850,000 people, or half of the Rochester-area population, have agreed to have their records shared with authorized medical providers, the paper notes. It embraces 40 healthcare organizations in the 13-county greater Rochester area, providing links to hospitals, reference labs, radiology practices, eldercare agencies and health plans along with the ambulance teams.

To communicate patient information, the EMS workers create an “electronic pre-hospital care document” which can be uploaded to the patient’s medical record (even if the patient declines to go to the hospital). The ePCD technology is available to EMS crews for no cost.

While there’s scattered use of this approach, mobile EMR connections for EMS workers are unusual, as far as I can tell. But with mobile healthcare apps and EMR front ends growing more sophisticated every day, the time is coming soon when anyone who touches the healthcare process in any way, including EMS personnel, will have a wirelessly-enabled tablet loaded with the software they need to report on the patient.

Frankly, I’m surprised all EMS techs don’t have such a tool already. It just makes too much sense.

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.


  • This is very exciting. We did projects like this in our Master’s program in informatics. Am glad communities are making it happen!

  • this is an excellent…idea that will save many lifes..this will allow the ems to have the Medical HX of each Patients at their finger tips.. it will allow then to administer care which the attending physicain can follow up to insure he or she is put on that path to recovery.

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