Ali RosenMay 2, 2018, 4:14 pmMay 7, 2018, 2:13 pm

Westchester Medical Center Health implements ‘Twiage’

New app lets users send important information to the hospital to improve their arrivals

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VALHALLA– Westchester Medical Center Health (WMCH) is now using the application Twiage, which is designed to enhance communication between the emergency room and the responding EMS team. The app is designed to allow the user to send important information to the hospital, and notify them exactly when the user is going to arrive through its GPS service. The app is also encrypted in order to protect the patients HIPAA rights.

Medical Director of Emergency Services at WMCH Dr. Jonathan Berkowitz said Twiage will greatly improve communication within the hospital.

“Simply it’s an app, but it’s a lot more than an app. It’s an app that’s really meant to improve how we communicate with patients in the field and make sure we're ready for them when they hit the door,” Berkowitz said. “They're bringing in this patient, and let’s say it’s a stroke. I'm like, 'Well, do you know the last time they seemed normal?’ And she's like, ‘They didn't tell us.’ It’s very hard to go back and find that out. Now, it’s very easy. In fact, I routinely send messages to the EMS crew saying, ‘Hey, can you figure this out for me?’ So, I know we need to do X, Y, or Z when they hit the door.”

Berkowitz said by being in direct communication with EMS, he's able to learn a lot more about the patient before they arrive. Berkowitz is hoping Twiage becomes the primary tool for EMS communication throughout the Hudson Valley and ultimately improves the care of patients before they get to the hospital door.

“Calls that come in and I say, ‘Gee, I really wish I knew this,’ that, or the other, and EMS does a great job at communicating with us, but I know the medical standard of care and what’s supposed to happen and I know what the decision points are. So, being able to get that is really good. It’s already helping us and it’s going to help a lot more,” Berkowitz said.

Director of Medical Operations at Empress Ambulance Michael Blecker has been using the Twiage app for two weeks and believes the app is a much stronger form of communication than calling the hospital.

“Sometimes, there’s background noise; it makes communication limited. So, with this app, we’re able to send the most important information to the hospital and notify them that we’re coming in. Since its GPS is enabled, they know exactly where they are within the county and they have a reverse time that tells them how long until we actually arrive,” Blecker said.

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