IT-assisted triage

Bettina Döbereiner reports

The project consortium Alarm has developed new software to enable a computer-assisted triage-system for mass accidents and catastrophes. Torsten Schröder, emergency physician at the Charité Clinic for Anaesthesiology, with the focus on operative Intensive Care Medicine in Berlin, gave a mid-term review of the project and explained the advantages of the IT-supported triage-system for mass-casualty-incidents at HAI 2010.

Torsten Schröder
Torsten Schröder

‘Generally, we must assume a chaotic and confusing period when the first ambulance crew arrives on scene,’ said Torsten Schröder, addressing this year’s annual conference of the German Society for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (DGAI) in Berlin. ‘At this stage, the emergency team is too limited to help all the injured at the same time. Seriously injured people must be singled out from the less injured.’

To face this chaotic period adequately, a special method called STaRT (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment) was developed in the ’80s and is now an internationally used method to categorise casualties by the severity of their injuries. The whole evaluation process for one person should be conducted in 60 seconds or less. The Berlin fire brigade, one of the consortium partners, for example uses STaRT.

Instead of the paper-based questionnaire in A4 format, Alarm developed a computerised triage algorithm for a handheld computer. Compared to the paper version, according to Torsten Schröder the computerised triage algorithm has, many advantages, the most significant being immediate information transfer. The triage findings can be consulted immediately from a central database, which enables selected, prompt decision-making for the on-scene incident leader. The results of algorithm-based triage are edited and consequently easier to manage. Additionally, a GPS function identifies the location of the injured. ‘Our current terminal device (Endgerät) is a tough handheld device, which offers redundant information transfer by different tools, such as the radio (Funk) and mobile telephone service -- the function to broadcast via Satellite -- WLAN coverage of 2.4 gigahertz, RFID-Scanner and a Bluetooth interface to ensure a secure data-transfer,’ he explained.

The project consortium consists of eight partners, one half responsible for the software solutions, the other for the expertise as protagonists of mass-casualty-incidents, such as Torsten Schröder, deputising the Charité Clinic for Anaesthesiology with the focus on operative Intensive Care Medicine.

The project is promoted for three years by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and is headed by the Telemedicine Centre at Charité. For its second period the consortium plans to complete the IT-supported handling of first aid to an integrated system, comprising computer-assisted treatment areas for follow-up intervention. The integrated system of IT-supported medical care has to prove its usability in a full scale exercise, which is scheduled for the end of project term.

03.11.2010

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Surgical checklist saves lives

As part of a global Safe Surgery Saves Lives programme, a simple, short checklist of guidelines for safe surgical procedures developed by the World Alliance for Patient Safety of World Health…

Photo

ISICEM 2009

About 5,000 physicians and healthcare workers interested in intensive care and emergency medicine will gather in Brussels for the 29th ISICEM.

Photo

The silver anniversary of the ISICEM

The 25th International Symposium of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, to be held at the Congress Centre in Brussels, will see us celebrate our Silver Anniversary, when we will reflect on 25…

Related products

Beckman Coulter – DxA 5000

Automation

Beckman Coulter – DxA 5000

Beckman Coulter Diagnostics
Beckman Coulter – DxONE Command Central Workstation

LIS, Middleware, POCT

Beckman Coulter – DxONE Command Central Workstation

Beckman Coulter Diagnostics
CliniSys | MIPS – CyberLab

LIS, Middleware, POCT

CliniSys | MIPS – CyberLab

CliniSys | MIPS Deutschland GmbH
CliniSys | MIPS – DaVinci

Information Technology

CliniSys | MIPS – DaVinci

CliniSys | MIPS Deutschland GmbH
CliniSys | MIPS – GLIMS

LIS, Middleware, POCT

CliniSys | MIPS – GLIMS

CliniSys | MIPS Deutschland GmbH
CliniSys | MIPS – MIPS GLIMS genetics

LIS, Middleware, POCT

CliniSys | MIPS – MIPS GLIMS genetics

CliniSys | MIPS Deutschland GmbH
Subscribe to Newsletter