OVERLOOK AREA FIRST AID COUNCIL
Meeting called to order by President Dan Sullivan at 8:15 p.m.
Pat Gabriel updated us on the emergency room plans: the old Cencom will be made into a 4 segment pediatric emergency area within the next 4-6 months. AHS is moving aggressively on this project as the current ER needs more space. AHS is doing a couple of videos with McNeal-Leher Report and needs squads and squad personnel to help out on Thursday January 11th - see her if you can help.
Ann Pacifico handed out the new EMS course schedule for Bill Faust.
Dr. Jim Iscovitz spoke about the new ACLS and AHA guidelines. ABCD is still the way to go with the emphasis on the ":D" defib portion. If ABCD isn't done properly within the first five minutes, then all the drugs, etc. administered by the medics won't make a difference in the outcome. He reminded us of the procedure for calling 911 in unresponsive/non-breathing patients: Adults - call first, then do CPR; children: do one minute of CPR, then call 911; airway obstruction, do CPR first; trauma, do CPR first. The big change is the airway management - use your BVM; concentrate on the airway and become experts with the BVM.
New airway type was discussed - the LMA: being pushed by AHA for BLS personnel to learn to use this airway - it seals the esophagus so that the air goes only into the trachea. It's unknown what the Depart of Health will do with this airway. Howie Meyer said the NJSFAC is working on a protocol for the LMA. Dr Iskovich will do a half hour presentation on the LMA at our next meeting.
Cencom - no report
Ryan White procedures - if exposed give paperwork to ER Charge Nurse directly - she will get it to Sonya McHugh in Infection Control. Pat Gabriel asked for a list from each squad of their officers so that she and Sonya know who to contact with Ryan White testing results - now it's the person who's been exposed and the squad officer being contacted.
Committee on mobilization/divert/by-pass met on January 9th. Working on an updated divert procedure, but if patient or patient's doctor insists on having patient come to Overlook, then do what's best for the patient and in the patient's best interest. If you run into a problem bringing a patient in while hospital/ER is on divert, call Pat Gabriel immediately or request the administrator on call be contacted immediately. Pat explained AHS policy on divert and how they handle calls, discharges, etc.
Howie Meyer brought a complaint from the Berkeley Heights captain Diane Ficacci regarding the Atlantic Health ambulance being used by the medics while on scene with the Berkeley Heights volunteer squad. Patients are seeing two ambulances and are confused. He asked that signs be put onto the AHS ambulance stating that it's the MICU. Ann said due to licensing regulations from the DOH, they cannot put signs on it saying transport service, paramedics, EMS. She said they are thinking about having business cards made up so that when the medics are on the scene, they can leave the cards with the family/patient saying who they are and where they came from so as to not confuse the family. It was suggested that a letter go out from the MICU to each patient served saying that the MICU was present on the call and that the patient/family/insurance will be receiving a bill for services.
Ann was asked about the plans for that ambulance now that the HCFA situation was resolved. Ann said they are sill looking at it being used instead of a paid service for transports; right now it's used for back-up for Medic I/II as their back-up vehicle has been out of service for three months. She said the future is very uncertain.
The question of AHS billing came up as patients are receiving bills for paramedic services and the bills are saying 'ambulance service' - Ann will check into this as AHS has new software and this may be the problem - it depends on what code is entered into the computer as the code indicates the type of service. Codes include ALS1 - when medics are on the scene; ALS2 when at least three different drugs are given/defib used; patient cardio-verted. Oxygen and a line don't count.
Howie Meyer brought another question from the Berkeley Heights captain wanting to know what other towns are being pursued by Cencom for dispatching proposals - they feel they should be able to know who Gareth and Cencom are speaking with. Howie also asked if Cencom was doing any Pre-Arrival Instructions only - Skip said not at this time.
Next meeting - Wednesday, March 14th at 8:00 p.m. Meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.
Susan Meyer, Vice President
All meetings are now being held in the conference rooms on the 5th floor in the main hospital. (Use the same door use would use if you were going to see a patient, take the first hall way on your right - just before the gift shop - the conference room are on your right hand side.) The rooms are posted as to what meeting is in what room
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