Enhanced Patient Care While Up in the Air

Vanderbilt LifeFlight responders use Epic’s mobile app to make informed patient care decisions


When providing emergency care to the critically injured patients they transport to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt’s LifeFlight responders need to quickly assess the patient’s situation. With Haiku, Epic’s application for smartphones, flight nurses and paramedics can quickly review medical records, including recent medical visits, medications, allergies, and emergency contacts, from wherever they are.

Using Haiku to quickly access more information helps remove uncertainty, said LifeFlight’s Mike Davidson, RN, EMT-P.

For example, when elderly trauma patients don’t appear to be in shock, responders have to consider whether this is because they’re on a medication that hides the symptoms of shock. Previously, responders generally assumed that the patient was in shock and administered blood products.

“With Haiku, in a matter of seconds you can determine what medication they’re on, so that you know exactly what kind of care to administer,” Davidson said. “It is nice to have the extra information.”

While Haiku has proven to be a necessary tool when treating all LifeFlight patients, it has made the biggest impact for responders providing care to complex patients, such as patients with severe drug allergies, transplant patients, and patients who have had multiple procedures. By pulling up the patient’s chart in Haiku, responders can tailor their approach based on information they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see Haiku used in a novel way at VUMC,” said Shane Stenner, senior director of clinical informatics. “Haiku was originally designed for physicians to perform some simple patient care tasks, like viewing lab results when they’re on the go. Our LifeFlight and emergency medicine teams helped us see a whole new world of possibilities for using Haiku to deliver great patient care at Vanderbilt.”

Read more in the VUMC Reporter and watch the news story at News Channel 5.