California Fire Department Uses iPads To Transmit Patient Data

The Laguna Beach Fire Department in California has begun using iPads to record and transmit patient data from emergency scenes to ambulance companies and hospitals, the Daily Pilot reports.

In May 2011, Laguna Beach purchased nine iPads for the department, which are rotated among all the firefighters. Last week, LBFD was scheduled to receive an additional 12 iPads.

Firefighters use the iPads to transmit a variety of patient data, including:

  • A patient’s name;
  • A patient’s age; and
  • The nature of the injury.

The firefighters also can send pictures of the emergency scene.

The iPads are programmed to carry five patient records at one time. For security purposes, users are required to enter passwords before using the devices, and patient data are encrypted.

Api Weinert, LBFD’s emergency medical services trainer and division chief, said the iPads allow the firefighters to record all relevant patient data in about five minutes, adding that it “takes less than half the time” of using paper records (Alderton, Daily Pilot, 12/11). 

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