September 25th, 2016

This blog is part of an interview series Medlert is publishing in collaboration with experts in EMS & medical transport.

Recently, I interviewed Glenn Leland, Chief Strategy Officer at ProTransport-1, a San Francisco-based ambulance transport company, which was named one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America in 2012.

I asked Leland how the many forces that are reshaping healthcare —skyrocketing costs, the the Affordable Care Act, and changing consumer demand—are affecting the emergency medical services and ambulance industries.

Leland pointed me to The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim framework, which focuses on building a stronger health system with:
• Better patient experiences,
• Better population health, and
• Lower per capita healthcare costs.

Leland mentioned that Pro-Transport pursues all three objectives of the Triple Aim as they apply to EMS and ambulance transport as well as a fourth one, which is a focused on customer service.

“We know people have choice of which hospital to go to,” said Leland. “With a growing number of baby boomers becoming the dominant healthcare consumers, more and more people have customer service expectations. Many of these patients demand choice, and they’ll pick the places that give them great service.”

“People are going to compare quality of care and cost. I believe that customer service is going to be a key driver in EMS,” Leland said. “Today, the predominant model for ordering inter-facility ambulance is to pick up the phone and call. Then you have to negotiate an appointment time. If the nurses can’t get the time they want, then they call the next ambulance company. It’s very labor-intensive and inconvenient for the hospital staff.”

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Leland highlighted how in most facilities, ordering ambulance transport creates hassles for providers and for patients.

“What Medlert has done is create a smartphone-based application that allows the nurse or case manager to order the medical transport services they need, and it fits into the flow of their other activities,” Leland said. “They can even do this while they are walking from one patient room to the next using their smartphone to order the ambulance.”

“Nurse can track the ambulance’s timeliness, which is important,” said Leland. “With the Medlert app, they’ll know if it’s going be on time or if there is going to be a delay. This is key to customer service.”

Leland went on to say that mobile tools that improve customer service for both health care providers and for patients are the way of the future.

“If you want to look at the big changes that coming to EMS, we have to look at mobile,” said Leland. “I was recently at a technology conference with many chief strategy officers of large companies, who were describing their companies’ digital strategies. When you look at PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, they are de-emphasizing television advertising strategies to focus more on Facebook, Instagram, and other mobile applications.”

“This is where the world is headed: mobile, and the same thing is going to apply to nurses and case managers when selecting an ambulance transport provider,” said Leland. “They’re going to want to use their smartphone for more and more things, including ordering ambulance transport online with a simple smartphone-based system.”

Leland concluded that the growth of mobile technology is a key driver that the EMS industry must take into account in how they work with hospitals, providers, and patients as well as other agencies and regulators.


Why Focusing on Efficiency Is the Next Big Thing for Hospitals

August 10th, 2016

Late last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it was moving forward on making bundled payments mandatory for cardiac care services, specifically care for acute myocardial infarction and coronary artery bypass graft surgeries. The new bundled payments regulations will apply to hospitals in 98 randomly selected US metropolitan areas starting in July 2017.

The new CMS ruling is being touted as a big step forward for value-based care and will likely drive a greater focus on creating new efficiencies in hospitals, many of which are already experiencing enormous financial pressures. By one estimate at least 60 rural hospitals have closed in the last five years. In the first half of 2016, at least another 12 hospitals have shut down, according Becker’s Hospital Review. Falling reimbursement rates, particularly from CMS, as well as a drop in patient volume are often cited as reasons many hospital systems are failing.

Given this landscape of increased financial pressure on hospitals, new and innovative ways of creating operating efficiencies are expected to be a growing focus among hospital executives.

How Are Hospitals Creating Efficiency: Supply Chain Management

One of the ways hospitals are creating greater efficiencies is through new, technology-enabled systems for more efficient supply chain management systems. According to the Wall Street Journal, one Illinois and Missouri-based hospital chain of 12 hospitals, BJC HealthCare, is investing millions in using radio frequency identification (RFID markers) to track medical devices in the system.

This type of automatic tracking system allows the hospital network to maintain a lower inventory of medical supply stock on hand, 23% less by one estimate. Maintaining fewer supplies on hand is lowering costs. The RFID-enabled tracking system also helps the hospital automatically detect supplies that are close to expiration and reorder supplies as they run low.

Using Location-Based Services

Business analysts from Technavio are predicting that the location-based services market in healthcare will see significant growth with the push towards creating greater efficiency operations. Beyond hospital-based RFID tag expansion, analysts are also predicting the widespread adoption of WiFi networks and healthcare wearables will help hospitals operate more efficiently. With greater network availability, in-hospital mobile-to-mobile communications are expected to grow and would increasingly allow hospital staff to easily communicate with other teams, patients, and track equipment and supplies labeled with digital location markers.

The widespread and growing adoption of healthcare wearables connected through hospitals’ increasingly robust digital networks is also predicted to drive new, more efficient forms of patient-monitoring, including out-of-hospital patients, who are still monitored by hospital staff.

New Partnerships for Greater Efficiency

Companies with deep experience in the healthcare industry are also forming new partnerships and alignments to push forward new services and products aimed at building greater system efficiencies.

Last month, for example, ThoughtWire, a Toronto-based software company, and
GE Healthcare Partners, a consulting arm of GE Healthcare, announced a five-year agreement to work together on launching new digital tools for improving the patient experience and upping quality of care and productivity.

Among the areas of focus for the ThoughtWire and GE Healthcare Partners collaboration are speeding up turn-around time on lab work and imaging test results, shortening hospital stays, and shortening patient wait times in the emergency room.

Smarter Patient Logistics

Better patient logistics management is also a growing area of focus within the push towards greater hospital efficiency. One example of this is Medlert Inc.’s push to build software-driven patient logistics tools with a number of California healthcare systems. These tools offer healthcare providers and care coordinators a better way to manage the patient journey into and out of the hospital and allow care teams to track and order services in the hospital as well as home care, meal services, labs, and other forms of follow-up care.

The new patient logistics management tools will help providers reduce time on task when ordering any form of patient transport or transfer and also track a patient’s movement into, through, and out of the hospital system. The platform also offers a marketplace broadcasting tool to seek the timeliest, lowest cost bids to meet any patient transportation needs, and thereby helps healthcare systems maximize efficiency and minimize cost during intake, discharge, and inter-facility transfer. 

Competitive Financial Climate Driving Healthcare Innovation

The continued movement towards value-based reimbursement at a time when many hospitals are struggling in an increasingly competitive market is forcing many hospital executives to look for new solutions to build greater operational efficiency. Technologies like RFID tags, location-based services, patient wearables, and patient logistics platforms are some of tools that growing in popularity as the focus sharply shifts to the need to drive down costs and improve patient care. We expect the market will continue to grow in this direction, as hospital executives increasingly look to technology to improve communications, move data, connect teams, and power new healthcare models that allow for better care at lower cost.

 


Why the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Industry is Booming

January 26th, 2016

The rise of the non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) industry directly relates to the burgeoning elderly population in America. According to the Administration for Community Living, the number of people 65 and older in this country is expected to double over the next 45 years, from 44.7 million in 2013 to over 98 million in 2060. Additionally, the baby boomers are getting ready to retire and will need access to more medical care in the years to come.

Many of these aging consumers do not have the resources to own or maintain a vehicle and they live in rural areas where public transportation is unavailable. In many parts of the country, the closest hospital, specialist or primary care provider is several hours away. The Community Transportation Association of America reports that 66 percent of dialysis patients depend on someone else to transport them to their medical appointments, 25.3 percent walk or drive themselves, and only 8 percent use taxis or public transportation. This means big business for those in the NEMT industry.

On top of this, the number of chronic conditions among the population is on the rise. Heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, and cancer have become increasingly widespread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 78 percent of the population 55 and older suffers from at least one of these conditions. This leads to numerous hospital visits, doctor appointments and trips to live-in treatment centers throughout the year.

Benefits of Starting a Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Business

The medical industry remains relatively unharmed by our volatile economy. Medical transportation will always be in high demand. This is seen as a huge incentive to those looking to start their own business. Thousands of entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this exciting opportunity. The Internet is filled with how-to guides, ebooks and online forums that advertise the numerous benefits of starting a NEMT business.

Those looking to start their own NEMT business believe that they can simply invest in a wheelchair accessible vehicle and some marketing essentials and drive their way to the bank. This type of thinking can lead to many startups offering inadequate transportation services. Many of those in the NEMT industry lack the necessary skills to properly transport patients suffering from chronic diseases and behavioral conditions. Starting a NEMT business requires a great deal of market research, industry knowledge, and a thorough understanding of how to assist patients entering and exiting a vehicle.

Changes in Coverage and Transportation Benefits

With the launch of Obamacare, the medical industry as a whole is also undergoing numerous changes that will affect anyone in the NEMT business. The percentage of the population that is eligible for Medicaid is expanding. As of January 2014, The Affordable Care Act has widened the Medicaid minimum eligibility level to 133 percent of the federal poverty line. Although many of the these new Medicaid subscribers will have access to their own mode of transportation, nearly 270,000 of new enrollees will require NEMT as a part of their healthcare package according to the CTAA.

Medicaid currently offers a transportation benefit. This can be used for gas, vehicle maintenance or a local NEMT service. However, the transportation industry can be difficult to understand and monitor. There are thousands of private and public agencies that refer their clients to transportation services, causing a complete lack of regulation and considerable inefficiencies within the industry. NEMT services often overlap in certain areas while other areas go underserved or have no NEMT services at all. Many patients have a difficult time finding a reliable, affordable NEMT service.

Conclusion

The NEMT business is here to stay. With large portions of the population reaching retirement and the widespread rise of chronic conditions, millions of consumers will need access to medical transportation in the years to come. Because of this, starting a NEMT business is an attractive option for small business owners and entrepreneurs. However, changes in the healthcare industry and little to no transportation regulation are causing lapses in services and ineffective patient care. Check back for more updates as the NEMT industry undergoes more changes in the years to come.

About the Author
Medicus Transportation is one of the largest ambulance providers in the New Jersey. We have the resources, capabilities, and skills needed to provide expert emergency & non-emergency medical transportation.


Medlert Inc. Joins Allscripts Developer Program Powers Medical Transport & Ambulance Communications

August 18th, 2015

Medlert Inc. announced today it has joined the award-winning Allscripts Developer Program (ADP) to build integration to Allscripts hospital EHR product using the Allscripts Open API. The planned integration will enable Allscripts acute users to seamlessly order medical transport and communicate with ambulance dispatch and ambulance crews using the Medlert platform.

ADP partners benefit from a robust set of developer tools and documentation available on the Allscripts Developer Portal. Allscripts also provides regular technical support and workshops for all developers, including Allscripts clients, integrating with its Open API.

Today, Medlert Inc. provides hospitals and ambulance providers with a range of solutions to:

Submit ambulance transport requests using any web-browser, mobile- or web-based device,
Share important patient care information for transport using a HIPAA-secure platform,
Upload and attach documents and other important patient information,
Check patient eligibility for transport and track important paperwork digitally,
View ambulance availability and schedule future transports,
Receive accurate ETAs of ambulance arrival at healthcare facilities,
Get proactive real-time routing for ambulance crews to speed response times, and
Measure important driver behavior and road safety telematics.

“By joining the Allscripts Developer Program we will be able to help our clients easily order medical transport for patients within the existing workflow in the Allscripts acute care platform,” said David Emanuel, Medlert Co-founder & CEO. “Our goal is to make it possible to order medical transport accurately and efficiently in one minute or less and enable healthcare providers to seamlessly connect with ambulance transport teams, including knowing when the ambulance is arriving and be able to easily communicate important patient information.”

More information about ADP partners and certified solutions available to Allscripts clients can be found on the Allscripts Application Store. Developers are encouraged to sign up for a free account on the Allscripts Developer Portal for access to its Open API and to develop innovations for Allscripts users.


Medlert Inc. Offers Sedan Transport for Patients

August 6th, 2015

Last week, the Medlert Inc. team added a new service to the Medlert Connect platform, which allows nurses to send patients home or to outpatient care facilities by sedan car rather than by ambulance. Some 35 million people are discharged from US hospitals every year. This new level of service on cialis-topstorerx the Medlert Inc. platform is aimed at supporting viagra ambulance providers sildenafil in meeting the transport needs of these patients returning home. The sedan service option may also be a good fit for patients in need of transport to outpatient medical appointments, which accounts for 125 million visits per year.

Helping Ambulance Companies Help Hospitals

“By adding a new level of service http://viagra-bestrxonline.com/ of sedan car transport to the Medlert platform, we are aiming to help ambulance companies tailor transportation to the patient’s needs,” said David Emanuel, generic cialis Medlert co-founder and CEO. “The industry is evolving to a point where ambulance providers are being asked to offer more than just an ambulance to meet the hospital’s needs. We see this new service as a great way for cialis vademecum providers to broaden their service offerings and keep customer satisfaction high,” said Emanuel. “Our aim is to build a platform that can manage all patient logistics around medical or non-medical transports in and out http://canadianpharmacyonline-rx.com/ of the hospital. By doing this efficiently and well, we can positively impact patient care and hospital efficiencies.”


Medlert Inc. Releases Free Dispatch Tool for Wheelchair And Stretcher Transport

July 20th, 2015

Medlert Dispatch logoToday, Medlert Inc. unveiled the industry’s first free dispatch tool to direct wheelchair and stretcher-aided transport of patients. The new tool, called Medlert Dispatch, offers ambulance companies the ability to:

  • Easily manage logistics and communication around wheelchair and stretcher-aided transport requests,
  • Use an intuitively designed system, which requires minimal training and setup time,
  • Run the dispatch on HIPAA secure architecture, and
  • Implement a tadalafilcialis-storerx cloud-based platform, which cialis-topstorerx.com removes the canadianpharmacyonline-rx need to maintain servers or networks internally.

“We believe this is a huge step forward for innovation in an industry that is in a dire need of pharmacy assistant jobs canada a technology upgrade,” said David Emanuel, Medlert Co-founder & CEO. “Our aim is to offer Medlert Dispatch to all wheelchair and stretcher van transport providers. We particularly http://viagra-bestrxonline.com/ want to help transport providers that are just starting out with a free version to embed modern technology early on as they grow. We think Medlert Dispatch is an affordable, innovative, and easy-to-use tool to power your dispatch of wheelchair and stretcher-aided transports.” Medlert Dispatch is now available for all wheelchair and stretcher van transport providers. Transport providers that would like to get access to the free version of Medlert Dispatch must meet the following requirements:

  • Be doing fewer viagra-bestrxonline than 500 trips per month,
  • Provide stretcher van, and wheelchair services,
  • Have reliable and fast internet in the dispatch,
  • Use PCs or Macs for dispatchers,

Additionally, transport providers that are doing more than 500 trips per month are eligible for a free, 30-day trial of Medlert Dispatch. “Our goal in launching Medlert Dispatch is to bring new technology tools, including a mobile-friendly, cloud-based platform that allows for greater efficiency and convenience, to the task of managing the logistics of ambulance transports, especially those that require stretchers or wheelchairs,” said Ernest Semerda, Medlert Co-founder & CTO.


What Does Visibility Really Mean for EMS?

July 6th, 2015

At Medlert, we talk a lot viagra costa rica sin receta about bringing ‘visibility’ and ‘transparency’ to the ambulance industry. In the world of business operations and logistic supply chains, those terms have specific meanings. I sat down with David Emanuel, Medlert’s Co-Founder & CEO, to talk about what ‘transparency’ and ‘visibility’ really mean for emergency medical services (EMS) and why they are important.

Creating Transparent Communication

“What our newest product, Medlert Responder really offers ambulance companies is the ability to create visibility back to their customers,” said Emanuel. “This means hospitals have the ability to see when the vehicle is arriving and get acknowledgements when the vehicle has arrived. The receiving facility can also send an acknowledgement when they receive a patient.” “This is huge, and no other platform is doing this,” said Emanuel. “ Responder allows us to create real-time communication not only between dispatcher and crews but also between the facilities and the ambulance team.” “What we believe we’ve created is a powerful tool for better communications between all parties in the medical transport system,” said Emanuel.

One Australian Hospital Really Needs Better Ambulance Visibility

One glaring example that points to the need for more visibility and transparency has made headlines. In Victoria, Australia ambulances are spending thousands of hours each year waiting to unload patients at hospitals.

This is a clearly a fleet management challenge, a logistics problem, as well as patient care concern. While part of the issue may be that hospitals are under-resourced, there is viagra research chemical more cipla generic viagra reviews ambulance companies can how to take 20mg cialis do to make patient transfers as seamless as possible with hospitals. Employing tools that offer better, real-time communication and visibility is an important step forward in building more efficient, smarter cialis-topstorerx connections between ambulance teams and hospitals.

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Business Applications Is Big Business

Medlert’s focus on building a mobile and web-based B2B platform for real-time communication between ambulances and healthcare facilities is part of a larger trend in the business world. Tech Crunch writer Ezra Galston recently covered this topic in:

Galston points to B2B platforms for real-time scheduling of services as one of the emerging models in the market. He writes that “unlike consumer facing booking engines such as Opentable or Priceline, many business-to-business purchases remain deficient of transparency or even online transactability.” This is precisely what Medlert Inc. platform is bringing to the ambulance company-healthcare facility relationship. In the Tech Crunch article, Galston lists logistics among the top B2B markets accounting for $100B+ in revenue. Part Medlert’s aim with its platform—which includes Medlert Connect, Medlert Responder, and Medlert Eligibility—is to make the logistics of ambulance transports as smooth as possible.

The Mobile Mind Shift in Medical Transport

Emanuel also talked about how the push towards more visibility and transparency in B2B relationships is part of the mobile mind shift. “The mobile mind shift is really about wanting something now,” said Emanuel, “Within that is wanting to know what is available right now. That’s marketplace transparency. It’s part of the problem we are solving.” “When you—the patient or discharge manager or nurse—want a medical transport, we can show you what available units there are in your area,” said Emanuel. “You can schedule the appointment, watch the vehicle arrive, and track when it arrives at the destination.” “We could call these patient moments,” said Emanuel. “When you think about value-based care and what is happening in the industry today, these patient moment will determine the quality of the ride and the quality of patient care during transfers and transports.”

Improving Safety a Big Focus for Medlert

Beyond creating http://viagra-bestrxonline.com/ transparency, visibility, and better logistics and scheduling, Emanuel also points out that crew and patient safety are also a big part of the company’s focus. “Most of the safety products and speed alerts out there in ambulance industry are hard wired, not dynamic,” said Emanuel. “Our product, Medlert Responders is dynamic, which means it is changing as you change your location and change roads. That’s a real game changer.”


Medlert Inc. at NENA 2015 in Denver

June 29th, 2015

This week, Mark Rector, Vice President of Business Development at Medlert Inc., is in Denver, Colorado for the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) 2015 Conference & Expo.

Operating at the forefront of emergency communications, NENA is an “association [that] works with 9-1-1 professionals nationwide, public policy leaders, emergency services and telecommunications industry partners, like-minded public safety associations.”

Part of the association’s aim is to help with the launch of IP-based Next Generation 9-1-1 systems. NENA also promotes awareness of 9-1-1 and other international three-digit emergency communications systems. Comprised of 48 chapters and 9,000 members across the United States and around the globe, NENA is focused on policy, technology, operations, and education issues around 9-1-1.

NENA’s primary mission is to “protect human life, preserve property, and maintain the security of our communities” by advocating for better emergency response systems. Mr. Rector, as a member of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) which has an Alliance with NENA is “looking forward to meeting and discussing industry innovations with the memberships” of both organizations at this cutting-edge conference.

The NENA annual conference attendees will receive more than 90 hours of education and training sessions designed to inform and empower emergency communications professionals.

Mark Rector will be presenting on “Hot Topics in 9-1-1 & Integrated Healthcare Innovations.”

Date: June 30th, 4:00 pm
Place: Colorado Convention Center

Please join us for this conversation about how EMS agencies are realizing the opportunities to provide mobile integrated healthcare and become a participant in the continuum of care.

This session will examine how public-safety answering points (PSAPs) and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers are using new technologies and software to improve the response and care we provide. 9-1-1 systems and EMS have become increasingly important access points for expanding the care delivery system. In this session, Rector will explore the changes in the delivery of EMS, starting with the PSAP and discusses best practices for implementing a quality-driven, safe dispatch access point.

 


The Ambulance Industry’s Legacy Technology Is In Need of an Upgrade

June 16th, 2015

For many people who don’t work in the EMS industry, the inner working of the ambulance system is a black box. We hope we never need an ambulance, but we understand if we have a medical emergency we can call 911 and an ambulance will show up at our door.

Those types of calls–emergency calls–lead to some 44 million emergency medical transports every year in the US. Nearly just as many—42 million medical transports—are non-emergency medical transports, which often means moving people from one healthcare facility to another.

Legacy Technology Can’t Keep Up

Entire systems for billing, processing requests, and quickly sharing vital patient information exist to power the ambulance industry and drive emergency- and non-emergency medical transport. But those those systems are largely built on legacy technologies that aren’t equipped to meet today’s demands for moving information quickly and securely.

Over the last several years, the Medlert team has talked to many people in the ambulance industry. We have heard time and time again that many ambulance end users— patients, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and payers—share the same pain points.

Old Technology Leads to Inefficiency

Many of those pain points arise from the fact that today’s ambulance logistic systems are built on old technology—phone, fax, and paperwork. These legacy systems are plagued with inefficiencies, such as:

  • A lack of transparency about vehicle availability and estimated ETAs,
  • Old hardware and software providing traffic navigation for ambulances,
  • Poor safety telematics for speed monitoring and crash detection,
  • No easy way to verify important patient information,
  • Difficulty collecting payment because of missing paperwork, and
  • Data vulnerabilities because of poor data security.

For those working on the inside of the healthcare and ambulance industries this means that:

  • Facilities, which you can’t service, are making requests for transports, including by wheelchair, which are difficult to fulfill;
  • Patients referrals are necessary but lengthy and time-consuming to coordinate;
  • Paperwork is a nightmare to handle; and
  • It is difficult to manage facility expectations and communicate an accurate ETA for smooth transfers.

The Technology Exists Today to Build Better Systems

It is a challenging time for healthcare and for the ambulance industry, but the good news is that many of the technologies exist today to build faster, smarter, more secure systems, which can remedy many of these problems.

It is Medlert Inc’s mission to use these technologies—mobile apps, cloud-based software tools, HIPAA-secure channels for mobile- or web-based devices—to enable the ambulance industry to offer faster service and better care.

After all, if Siri can navigate you to any destination of your choosing, why don’t we have these basic tools and more for emergency responders?

Mobile Apps & Cloud-based Tools Can Offer Security and Efficiency

The answer is that tools like this already exist. These tools will replace the legacy technology powering much of the medical transport industry today. These newer, savvier platforms allow ambulance crews to get real-time traffic routing, dynamic speed notifications, and voice-over navigation. The crew can detect crashes on the road and share accurate ETAs with healthcare facilities and patients from any mobile device.

Native apps for ambulance crews work in concert with tools that allow hospital and healthcare facility staff to submit ambulance transport requests over a HIPAA-secure channel from any mobile- or web-based device. New transport requests are then routed to the right ambulance in the field based on real-time telematics and broadcasting algorithms.

When an ambulance crew receives a new transport request, the in-ambulance app can then guide the crew to the pickup location and simultaneously send the crew and dispatch center real-time metrics on route, speed, and vehicle location. These fleet monitoring tools allow for greater fleet efficiencies and the ability to create a record of performance to improve service and expedite billing.

This is the future of medical transport and the ambulance industry. Want to learn more? Demo the Medlert Inc. platform today.


Condolences to Sheryl Sandberg & Commentary on Her Ambulance Experience

June 12th, 2015

Last week, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, published an emotional commentary on her experiences of grief after losing her husband, Dave Goldberg, in early May.

Many have applauded Ms. Sandberg’s willingness to share her experiences publicly, to be vulnerable and open, and write about the difficulties of returning to life after loss and trying right a world that will never really be the same.

We, too, applaud this brave work. We send our condolences to Ms. Sandberg and her children, to the Sandberg and Goldberg families, and to the many, many people in Silicon Valley and elsewhere who mourn Dave’s loss.

In her essay, Ms. Sandberg writes about the ephemeral nature of life, about parenthood and marriage and love, and how tragedy presents a choice: to give in to the void or to choose meaning.

It’s powerful piece, and we recommend everyone read it.

Sandberg’s Ambulance Experience

We want to pick up on one particular point Ms. Sandberg makes, which was also explored by Bustle magazine here. Many cars failed to yield to the ambulance that took Ms. Sandberg and her husband to the hospital.

In her piece, Ms. Sandberg writes:

“Although we now know that Dave died immediately, I didn’t know that in the ambulance. The trip to the hospital was unbearably slow. I still hate every car that did not move to the side, every person who cared more about arriving at their destination a few minutes earlier than making room for us to pass. I have noticed this while driving in many countries and cities. Let’s all move out of the way. Someone’s parent or partner or child might depend on it.”

It’s important point about community, about traffic laws, and about driver awareness, but the issue Ms. Sandberg is touching on is much bigger than individual drivers yielding to ambulances.

Slow Ambulance Transport One Symptom of a Larger Problem

In fact, Ms. Sandberg’s experience with ‘unbearably slow’ ambulance transport is just one of many examples of how the emergency response system is inefficient and slow, which can cost lives; and lead to preventable disabilities. There are other examples of ambulance rides that costs lives (see this story out of India); and of ambulances that took long to reach a person need, (for example, these stories out of DC and Detroit.)

There so many ways, we can improve emergency response, which was the impetus for founding Medlert Inc. Our mission is to use technology to build a faster and more efficient emergency response and medical transport system.

We are not the only ones doing this work.

The Medtronic Foundation founded the HeartRescue Project to drive faster, citizen-driven response to sudden cardiac arrest, including the use of AEDs and administration of CPR. The Pulsepoint app was built with similar goals in mind: upping bystander CPR. Recently, Trek Medics International’s Founder, J. Friesen, floated the idea of an app to guide citizen-driven response with naloxone, “the overdose antidote,” to help people experiencing a drug overdose. These are just a few of the examples of how people in the EMS field are pushing for faster, better emergency response.

But the challenges are not significant.

The EMS system is facing a growing number of calls for non-emergency, but needed, medical care. Often these calls come from people who struggle to get the care they need elsewhere, including people living with chronic health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or mental illness. Overall, the EMS system, and the healthcare system in general, is in desperate need of innovative models and tools for responding to these new demands.

The reality is, even though a faster ambulance ride would not have saved Dave Goldberg’s life, but there others for whom lost seconds and minutes mean the difference between life and death. We know this.

We know too, that the technology tools do exist today to build a better system using mobile-based apps, real-time navigation and traffic routing, crash detection tools, and fast, secure, digital connections between dispatchers, ambulance crews, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

It is our mission to build better technology tools that help ambulances and hospitals offer faster, more transparent, and more efficient emergency response and medical transport.