Implementation and Validation of Field Assessment Stroke Triage for Emergency Destination (FAST-ED) in a Rural EMS Region
To meet a new opportunity for better emergency stroke care, Dr. Daniel Wolfson, MD, of the University of Vermont received his pilot award to test whether an app could help rural EMTs effectively calculate the FAST-ED score, a score that measures the stroke’s severity right there in the field. The JoinTriage app, developed by ALLM, Inc., takes information supplied by the responding EMT and calculates the FAST-ED stroke severity score, identifies the nearest medical center offering the treatment best suited for that individual patient, and provides the route from their location to that center. Dan and his team set out to educate every EMS agency in the state of Vermont in the use of the app and collect data on whether the app’s calculated score in the field matched the score calculated at the hospital. The hope was that through training rural EMS personnel in the use of this tool, they could provide more equitable stroke care even in our remote areas that experience geographical barriers to accessing treatment. But they didn’t stop there. Leveraging the resources provided by the NNE-CTR, Dan helped cultivate a team across Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire that included all three State EMS Medical Directors, emergency physicians and neurologists at each thrombectomy-providing hospital, research technicians, and project managers. Together, they were able to add FAST-ED training to the official protocols for EMS education and procedures, and now all three states calculate the FAST-ED score in the field. Now, this large team is creating the first research consortium focused on a rural region, collecting data on the scores, response times, patient outcomes, and so much more to analyze exactly how they can provide the best care for stroke patients in all of our rural and urban communities. Read the whole story here.
“Northern New England, we're a pretty unique place. We're largely rural and widespread. This was an amazing opportunity for us to collaborate with our other northern New England partners and do something like this. What we've set up, we hope will lead to research on other rural EMS questions. So. That's a pretty good story."