Newswise — The Valley Hospital, an acute care, not-for-profit hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey is enhancing pre-hospital emergency care with the use of Twiage, a mobile app that lets first responders instantly communicate with the emergency room.

After an initial pilot phase, Valley has expanded the use of Twiage to 12 local EMS services in Bergen County, NJ, and Rockland County, NY.

The 451-bed hospital, which serves the northern New Jersey and southern New York areas, began using Twiage last year. During the initial phase, hospital teams found that Twiage helps emergency department providers better prepare for incoming patients by having advanced notice of their care needs and estimated time of arrival. It also helps reduce ambulance turnover time, getting them back on the road faster.

“Using Twiage, we have been able to get better notification from our EMS providers about who they are bringing in, what those patients likely need, and when a patient will arrive,” says Caitlin Burke, Emergency Department Clinical Supervisor at The Valley Hospital. “It puts us one step ahead in terms of preparedness and patient care.”

Twiage, a HIPAA-compliant prehospital communication platform that has received innovation awards from the American Medical Association and American Heart Association, can be used to share information such as patient vital signs, symptoms and demographic information via secured photos, videos, voice memo and texts between EMTs, doctors, and nurses. The platform offers emergency department staff real-time situational awareness with live patient data and updates, and GPS-tracking of incoming ambulances.

“Twiage offers us an operational advantage,” says Lafe Bush, EMS Director, Valley EMS. “We started small when we launched it, but the technology is working so well that we are expanding its use to all EMS providers who serve this hospital.”

“We are really excited to be using the Twiage app,” says Milton Kohlmann, Chief of Paramus EMS. “It helps us give some advanced notice to the hospital about what we are dealing with out in the field and when we’ll get that patient to them. If it saves them time and helps them prepare for incoming patients, it’s going to lead to better patient care and make our jobs easier!”

Initially designed to help hospitals more efficiently manage resources for patients who have experienced a stroke, heart attack, sepsis, or trauma, Twiage allows EMS and hospital-based providers to better communicate and share data about all patients, which means a more timely response and better use of resources.

"I believe this program can be of great benefit to achieve our duties as Emergency Medical Technicians,” commented Murray Yang, Captain, Ridgewood EMS previously. “Every second matters in achieving a positive outcome for a patient who’s in need of emergency medical care."

The current participating EMS agencies include Fair Lawn VAC, Franklin Lakes VAC, Hatzolah EMS, Mahwah EMS, Midland Park Ambulance, NJ Mobile HealthCare, Oakland FAS, Paramus EMS, Pearl River Ambulance, Ramsey Ambulance, Ridgewood Emergency Services, Valley EMS and Wyckoff VAC.