Saving Lives in Chicago: Grayslake Fire EMS uses e-Bridge Telehealth to support seniors

Grayslake Fire EMS is one of five fire and EMS agencies in Lake County, Illinois, participating in a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services pilot program to improve the quality of care for seniors. How are they making it happen? Through Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport (ET3)—and for Grayslake, GD e-Bridge.

ET3 is a payment model that offers greater flexibility for emergency medical services (EMS) when patients call 911 but may not need to be transported to the emergency department (ED). Under the ET3 model, the fire and EMS agencies in the pilot program can now do the following for Medicare Fee for Service beneficiaries who call 911:

  • Transport patients to care sites other than the ED (such as a primary care office, urgent care or community mental health center)
  • Treat seniors on-site if a health care provider is at the scene or available through telehealth.

This is where GD comes in. Grayslake, in collaboration with Northwestern Medicine Emergency Center Grayslake, uses e-Bridge mobile telehealth to connect fire and EMS personnel with practitioners through secure live video. GD e-Bridge’s rapid, HIPAA-secure live video communication enables providers to evaluate patients via telehealth. Oftentimes, patients are treated without having to leave the comfort of their homes. In other cases, when it is necessary to be transported to the emergency room, speaking with a practitioner through live video first may give a reluctant patient the confidence to head to the hospital.

Recently, Grayslake EMS experienced the latter with two senior patients. Both of these patients initially did not want medical attention. Through e-Bridge’s secure live video capabilities, ED physicians were able to see the patients and convince them come to the hospital for care. The providers and patients being able to see and hear from one another changed the dynamics of these situations—and saved the patients’ lives.

The ability to have in-the-field consults and the ability to care for patients on-site allows EMS and hospitals to:

  • Achieve faster time to treatment
  • Improve on-site patient care
  • Maximize time and resources
  • Reduce overcrowding in the ED
  • Reduce risks and costs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ET3 pilot program is providing an opportunity for Grayslake Fire Protection District to care for an aging population more efficiently. GD’s e-Bridge plays a critical role in this effort by enabling communication that helps to save time, money and, of course, lives.

Relying on e-Bridge could be critical to your ET3 program’s success. It also allows EMS to send and receive photos, 12-lead data and video clips, and provides alerts and notifications with real-time ETA tracking. Contact us to learn more.

Read more about the pilot program and its use of telehealth in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.

About GD (General Devices)

Through fully configurable and innovative mobile telehealth solutions, General Devices (GD) strives to provide Responsive Innovation to hospitals, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and care teams across the United States. Since 1979, GD has been driven to develop creative solutions tailored to the unique needs of our clients, resulting in integrated communications systems that make their life-saving work easier, more efficient and less expensive. Visit to learn more.

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