Not knowing slows care and treatment.
The number of Americans visiting hospitals’ emergency rooms continues to increase as well as the time spent in there. Overall, there were about 119 million visits in the emergency rooms in 2006 up from 90 million in 1996 – a 32 percent increase. An explanation for this increase is the fact that the population is aging and most of the elderly use emergency rooms as their first stop for health care.
The average wait time for treatment increased as well by almost half to 56 minutes in 2006 from 38 minutes a decade earlier. This finding can be explained by the fact that more patients are going to a declining number of hospital emergency departments. The limited number of beds and a shortage of surgical specialists also contribute to this unfortunate situation.
Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of senior dementia victims presenting to emergency personnel for assessment typically had no identification or medical history delaying notification to their care givers and their receiving treatment.
Who Needs the Code Amber Alertag?
Members of the public: Individuals who may at some time require health care services due to an emergency incident including natural disasters and terrorism.
On-site care provider: Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), and other medically trained emergency responders who provide care while at, or in transport from, the site of an emergency.
Clinicians: Healthcare providers located at a Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) with responsibility for treating emergency incident victims. This includes emergency physicians, emergency nurses, and all other clinical and ancillary personnel at the MTF.
What do first responders need?
Timely electronic access to current critical health information relating to the assessment, stabilization and treatment of emergency incident victims which can be securely exchanged between on-site care providers, medical treatment facilities, and health practitioners.