New Hospital Resource Tracking System Begins Pilot

Monday, September 11, 2006 | 07:00pm

New Program Will Ease Emergency Management

 Nashville, September 12, 2006

The Tennessee Department of Health, Bureau of Health Licensure and Regulation, has announced the start of a new emergency preparedness program, the Hospital Resource Tracking System (HRTS). A pilot phase has begun for over 50 hospitals and three regional communications centers statewide that now have access to this emergency management system. After a successful pilot period, current plans are for the remaining hospitals to begin HRTS implementation starting in the fourth quarter of this year. 

“Emergency preparedness and coordination across state agencies is a major priority, and this tracking system will broaden the scope of our departments’ response to emergencies,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “At the local level, this program will give Tennessee’s emergency professionals another tool to use in responding to disasters that will allow a faster and more widespread response.”

HRTS is an Internet-based database developed by the Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Licensure and Regulation to be used by emergency medical ambulance services and hospitals on a daily basis and at the time of a disaster, natural or otherwise. HRTS will allow local emergency management services and Regional Medical Communications Centers (RMCC) to make faster decisions on the transporting of victims of a mass casualty incident. Eight hospitals participated in the beta rollout in mid-March, four in the Chattanooga area and two each in the Jackson and Cookeville areas.

“The development of systems like HRTS is another component of Tennessee’s emergency preparedness efforts,” said Health Commissioner Kenneth S. Robinson, M.D. “This new program will play a major part in any disaster, natural or biological, that may occur in the state of Tennessee and will provide an invaluable tool for emergency medical services and hospitals who will use it in their disaster assistance efforts.”

Once fully implemented, each hospital in the state will update their bed and service availability on a daily basis via a simple Internet application. RMCCs and local emergency medical services (EMS), can easily access service availability information.  During disasters and daily emergency management, medical emergency personnel can easily log onto the system 24 hours a day, seven days a week and view any services that have been disrupted at a hospital, such as unavailability of radiological or surgical services.  RMCCs, EMS and regional hospital coordinators can access bed availability in addition to available services during a declared disaster event.

“I think the HRTS project is a very organized approach to a difficult task that has provided the emergency responders in the State of Tennessee a very useful tool in handling disaster situations,” said Randy Porter, director of 911 Center in Putnam County. “I think the software is very user friendly and will allow crucial information to be shared statewide.”

“HRTS is very easy to use,” said Beth Vowell, admitting nurse at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. “I am the admitting nurse and responsible for the daily status update, which takes less than five minutes to do for our 612-bed facility.”

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