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The State of Maryland Offers Payback for Counties Implementing EMS with Backline

In an emergency, you don’t have time to spare, and neither do your patients. The State of Maryland takes a pioneering step forward by enabling counties to adopt the Backline EMS system. Backline® EMS by DrFirst saves precious time and increases efficiency by giving you secure, real-time access to medication information and seamless communication with the hospital care team.

This initiative is fully compensated by the State of Maryland and promises a transformative shift in how emergencies are managed and an opportunity for each county to modernize their EMS infrastructure.

aaron bull"We are proud to support the State of Maryland in leading the way in improving patient care. Backline’s EMS solution gives first responders on-the-scene access to patients’ medication history to help determine the best course of treatment for patients,” said Aaron Bull, Vice President of Strategic Programs at Backline by DrFirst. 

The State of Maryland Program

Included in Maryland’s budget since 2020 is funding designated for Backline to provide emergency responders with remote access to a patient's medication history, particularly beneficial when patients are unable to communicate. The state understands the benefits of immediate access to medical records in critical situations. Backline empowers first responders with vital patient medication data, aiding them in making informed treatment decisions.

How Backline Works in EMS Situations

Our application is designed to provide a patient's medication list in seconds, even if they are unconscious. You have accurate, real-time medication information at your fingertips, leading to better information and informed treatment decisions.

One feature of our application is to provide up-to-date medication information quickly and simply, which is critical in emergencies. Instant access to a patient's medication list means healthcare professionals can have critical information when assessing the situation and determining an appropriate course of action. All you do is scan the patient’s driver’s license through the Backline app, and you’ll see six months of medical history.

In a field where every second counts, having the right information at the right time can make all the difference. Backline ensures that crucial medication data is readily available when and where it's needed most. Our work with the State of Maryland allows us to provide this innovative solution at no cost to healthcare organizations in the state. Learn more about patient pre-admissions with Backline.

In-Field Access to Patient Data Helps Improve Care and Increase Efficiency

Areas like Maryland's rural Queen Anne's County grapple with delivering adequate care due to resource limitations. Serving 50,000 residents without a hospital within its boundaries, the county relies heavily on a free-standing emergency department, which handles a significant portion of EMS transport.

To address these challenges, the Department of Emergency Services (DES) and the Department of Health (DOH) collaborated on the Mobile Integrated Community Healthcare (MICH) program, launched in 2014. MICH seeks to proactively address the health needs of frequent emergency users, aiming to enhance their health while alleviating strain on emergency and inpatient resources.

Through weekly home visits, specially trained DES Paramedics and DOH Community Nurses provide immediate health interventions and connect patients with community resources and allied health partners. The program, which now includes pharmacist services and accepts referrals from local EMS units and hospitals, demonstrates a visionary approach to improving overall health outcomes and quality of life in underserved regions like Queen Anne's County.

The Challenge

MICH paramedics and nurses require immediate access to patients' medication history and secure data-sharing capabilities to coordinate care with other healthcare providers. Given that patients may not always communicate their medication history, quick and reliable access to this information is vital for preventing adverse drug reactions and identifying potential contributors to symptoms.

The Solution

In mid-2021, Queen Anne’s County DES adopted the Backline platform for EMS care collaboration, enabling paramedics to access patient medication histories securely and utilize HIPAA-compliant text messaging and telehealth features.

MICH paramedics leverage Backline to scan driver's license barcodes, confirm patient identities, and access six-month medication histories, facilitating telehealth consultations with the MICH pharmacist and other healthcare providers and transmitting notes and care plans to EMS crews responding to enrolled patient's 911 calls, providing crucial background information.

DES paramedics and EMTs utilize Backline during 911 calls to access patient medication histories, mitigating the risk of adverse drug reactions, particularly for unconscious or memory-impaired patients, and securely transmitting patient information to expedite hospital treatment upon arrival.

"Being able to get instant access to patients’ medication history when we need it and then being able to share this information with our pharmacist and care team for telehealth and collaboration has been a game-changer for our MICH program." - Scott Wheatley, Previous Assistant Chief of EMS for Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services

The Outcome

Since integrating Backline, the MICH team has replaced inefficient phone calls and voicemails with secure text messaging, enhancing communication and efficiency. This enables seamless sharing of patient information, including up-to-date medication histories with the team pharmacist, and facilitates telehealth visits for medication therapy management, addressing issues like duplicate prescriptions and patient adherence barriers.

HIPAA Compliance in EMS

Now more than ever, ensuring HIPAA compliance and data security is paramount in the healthcare industry. Backline’s innovative application supports EMS in the field and ensures the protection of patient data above all else.

  • HIPAA Compliance: Our app is fully compliant with HIPAA and other essential privacy regulations. Your patient's sensitive information is handled with the utmost care and adherence to legal standards.
  • Robust Security Features: We understand the importance of safeguarding patient data. Backline is equipped with robust security features designed to prevent unauthorized access and maintain confidentiality.
  • Encrypted Communication: Our platform allows for the seamless communication of sensitive information in an encrypted and secure fashion. This means you can share patient data confidently, knowing it's protected from potential threats.
  • Stringent Protocols: We adhere to stringent protocols to ensure the integrity and security of your data at every step of the process. From storage to transmission, we implement measures to mitigate risks and safeguard against breaches.

By choosing our platform, you're not just investing in a convenient tool for healthcare management; you're also investing in the peace of mind that comes with knowing your patient's data is in safe hands.

The State of Maryland's innovative program allows counties to enhance emergency medical services. By implementing Backline, Maryland counties can streamline access to critical patient data and enable secure communication among healthcare providers. Backline revolutionizes EMS operations, ultimately improving patient care and increasing operational efficiency.

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