A smartphone will now become a more critical tool for nurses and EMT’s in Middle Tennessee. A new phone app makes it possible for them to request a medical flight with the push of a button.
Shaving off any time in an emergency situation is critical, says Kevin Nooner. He is the program director for medical transport at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“Anytime that we are getting a request from an EMS provider or a hospital provider, we’ve got a patient that really needs to move quickly to a higher level of care. Although it can sound cliché, those couple of minutes can make a big difference in people’s lives,” Nooner said.
In the past, emergency responders would have to radio in their request to a local 911 center. The 911 operator would enter the data into their system and then call in to the LifeFlight command center. There, data would be entered into a second database. Once the location was confirmed, a helicopter would be dispatched.
With the new process, EMTs just push a button on their phone to request a helicopter directly from the LifeFlight command center at Vanderbilt. The phone’s GPS sends their exact location, reducing the chance of mistakes.
The person who made the request can also view a map of the aircraft’s trajectory and estimated time of arrival.
Though similar apps have been used in other parts of the country, it is the first of its kind in Tennessee. LifeFlight handles approximately 50 medical transports to Vanderbilt hospitals every week.