a1 The Operational Medicine Institute, Department of Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts USA
a2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina USA
a3 Department of Emergency Medicine, LAC+USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, California USA
a4 Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California USA
a5 Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis St, Boston, Massachusetts USA
a6 Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts USA
a7 Centros de Diagnostico, Medicina Avanzada y Telemedicina (CEDIMAT), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
a8 Department of Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts USA
Introduction Mobile health (mHealth) technology can play a critical role in improving disaster victim tracking, triage, patient care, facility management, and theater-wide decision-making.
Problem To date, no disaster mHealth application provides responders with adequate capabilities to function in an austere environment.
Methods The Operational Medicine Institute (OMI) conducted a qualitative trial of a modified version of the off-the-shelf application iChart at the Fond Parisien Disaster Rescue Camp during the large-scale response to the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Results The iChart mHealth system created a patient log of 617 unique entries used by on-the-ground medical providers and field hospital administrators to facilitate provider triage, improve provider handoffs, and track vulnerable populations such as unaccompanied minors, pregnant women, traumatic orthopedic injuries and specified infectious diseases.
Conclusion The trial demonstrated that even a non-disaster specific application with significant programmatic limitations was an improvement over existing patient tracking and facility management systems. A unified electronic medical record and patient tracking system would add significant value to first responder capabilities in the disaster response setting.
Callaway DW, Peabody CR, Hoffman A, Cote E, Moulton S, Baez AA, Nathanson L. Disaster mobile health technology: lessons from Haiti. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(2):1-5.
(Received December 31 2010)
(Accepted February 25 2011)
(Revised February 10 2012)
(Online publication May 16 2012)
Funding: No external funding sources were utilized for this research, and no author has financial ties or disclosures related to any component of this research project.