Check the Fridge Flyer
EFFINGHAM – Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois has launched a program called “Check The Fridge” to aid EMS in getting current medications, allergies and medical conditions when responding to house calls quickly. The “Check the Fridge” kit consists of a fill-in medication form and magnetic vinyl sleeve that can be put on the resident’s refrigerator so that responders who arrive at a home can quickly “check the fridge” to have access to current medications, allergies, medical conditions, pharmacy and physician information.
For emergency responders, patient medications play an important role in assessment and treatment. Now, more than ever, we are seeing how important it is to keep a list of current medications, allergies, insurance information and other medical information for emergency situations. Having an accurate list ensures the safest, most efficient transfer of information to emergency personnel, the hospital and other healthcare workers.
Why is it so important?
More than 60 percent of adults in the United States who are over the age of 65 take at least five medications each week. Fifteen percent take at least 10 medications a week.
Inconsistent recordkeeping and lack of knowledge are responsible for 50 percent of all medication errors in the hospital and cause up to 20 percent of adverse drug events.
In an emergency situation, many patients are not able to speak or remember all medications that they or a loved one is taking.
Jeff Odenthal, lead operations supervisor for Abbott EMS, said, "The Check the Fridge initiative will assist EMS responders in obtaining a current medication list in situations where the patient is unable to provide that information. An accurate medication list can help EMS responders provide focused pre-hospital care which will result in better patient outcomes."
Dr. Kevin Oliver, medical director of the Emergency Department for HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, agrees. “We can assess a patient and administer the most accurate and appropriate care much faster when we know the patient’s most complete medical story: medications, allergies, medical conditions, etc.,” he said. “Having that information readily available will ensure that we do the best we can, as quickly as we can in situations where seconds count.”
Prairie Stat Heart Nurses, Julie Richardson, RN, BSN and Chelsey Jennings, RN, BSN, are educating local EMS personnel about the program. The kits are available to pick up in the Prairie Heart Institute at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital entrance or the main lobby of HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital at 503 North Maple Street.
About Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois
The Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois (PHII) is a community-based network of hospitals that offers cardiovascular programs staffed by the nationally recognized Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants, the largest group of cardiologists in the tri-state region. Because of the Prairie Educations and Research Consortium (PERC), network hospitals of PHII also have access to drugs and treatments not widely available. The network hospitals of PHII offer the highest level of cardiovascular care possible in their communities. When more specialized care is needed, it is available in Springfield, O'Fallon or Carbondale.
About the Prairie Stat Heart Program
Launched in 2004, the Prairie Stat Heart program works in cooperation with local community hospitals and EMS to enhance the quality of care and improve patient outcomes for patients presenting with an Acute Heart Attack. Protocols are provided to community hospitals for the fastest possible triage and treatment of patients experiencing an S-T elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI).