Three basic elements are well-managed in an efficient and reliable inter-facility transfer network:
Beacon ensures all three elements are coordinated as efficiently as possible, allowing doctors and healthcare administrators to more effectively allocate resources for patient referrals at all times.
In October 2014, the first Beacon incident was dispatched by the Manzanillo Fire Department in the northwest corner of the Dominican Republic for a woman with a complicated delivery who needed to be transported to a facility with higher care 30 minutes north. Since then Beacon has been used to request and coordinate transport for hundreds of patients between more than 10 facilities using (pictured at right). The majority of these patients have been for obstetrical complications, but also regularly include referrals for orthopedic injuries and infectious disease cases like cholera, dengue and malaria. Also included here are the vehicles used as part of the overall referral network.
The decision to refer an acute patient to a higher-level facility is made by a doctor.
Hospital staff calls the referral network call center to request a transport vehicle.
A dispatcher takes the patient’s information and sends it out as a text message to all available vehicles through Beacon.
Beacon selects the nearest and most appropriate vehicle of those replying to the alert.
The patient’s pick-up location is shared with the responding vehicle and arrival on-scene is confirmed via Beacon.
The patient is transferred to an appropriate facility; advanced notification is sent to the receiving hospital pre-departure and/or pre-arrival.
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