TACN Partners with Vanderbilt University Medical Center as it Expands Service to Tennessee Hospital Systems

Friday, February 17, 2023 | 05:27pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Advanced Communications Network (TACN) is excited to announce that Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will be the first hospital system to join the statewide radio network. This provides the ability for redundant communication capabilities in areas with inadequate service coverage or in the event of a disaster where internet and phone services are compromised.

TACN, a division of the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, provides statewide radio tower communication connectivity infrastructure for local, state, and federal first responders. With TACN, law enforcement, healthcare providers, and first responders can have reliable communication and can coordinate a statewide response in the event of an emergency.

“The statewide TACN system allows everyone responding to a medical emergency or any type of emergency to talk to each other,” said Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long. “No matter where you are in Tennessee, even when other means of communication fail, TACN will allow seamless communication for our partners.”

To utilize the TACN radio system, VUMC purchased 500 compatible radios that they strategically deployed to their regional hospital facilities and LifeFlight transport. LifeFlight is VUMC’s regional emergency medical services air and ground ambulance system, which completes approximately 12,000 patient transports every year.

“With TACN, EMS agencies across Tennessee can communicate directly with emergency departments and physicians over much greater distances,” said TACN Director Jeff Gray. “While transporting patients after a medical emergency or when regional hospitals send patients to Vanderbilt that need a higher level of care, TACN ensures that any communication gaps are closed.”

During an emergency or while transporting a patient for specialized care, the care an EMS provider can perform is limited to acts within their scope of practice. To administer a drug or perform a procedure outside their guidelines, an EMS provider must receive authorization from a physician. This is why EMS providers must have reliable communication, especially in Tennessee’s rural areas.

More Tennessee hospital systems are anticipated to join TACN soon. For more information about TACN, Tennesseans can reach out to the Department of Safety & Homeland Security at (615) 251-5166 or email.safety@tn.gov.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.