Office of Prehospital Care at Strong Gets $100,000 from the State

Sen. Jim Alesi Secures Funds to Improve Data Collection Program

May 05, 2000

For the fourth year in a row, Sen. Jim Alesi (R,C - Perinton) has secured funds in the New York State budget for the Office of Prehospital Care (OPC), a division of the Emergency Department at the University of Rochester Medical Center. This year's budget line item of $100,000 yields a total of $500,000 that Sen. Alesi has brought home to regional residents to support emergency medical services through the Office of Prehospital Care.

"Providing for the health and safety of the citizens in Monroe County has always been a priority for me," says Sen. Alesi. "When a medical emergency occurs, I want residents to know that they will receive the best that we can offer in the way of emergency response services."

The money allocated to the OPC in this year's budget will be used to continue the development and implementation of a comprehensive data collection system for prehospital care. Funds will go toward the purchase of hardware and the development of software that will enable prehospital emergency care providers - such as fire departments and ambulance companies - to electronically record extensive amounts of patient data and relay all of that to the hospital. Some of the money will also be used to educate emergency personnel on the system, which is already in use by about half of the area's emergency medical services. The other half is expected to be online by the end of this summer.

This aggressive program is the first of its kind in the country, according to Eric Davis, M.D., EMS medical director for Monroe Livingston Region and one of the people who has spent four years developing this plan. "There are a number of benefits to this type of comprehensive data collection," he says. "The first is quality assurance and improvement. Right now, we're collecting only such data as basic demographics and vital signs. With this in place, we'll be able to get comprehensive data points, interventions, vital signs and more. We'll also be able to see if what we're doing is making a difference as well as do long-term system planning."

The Office of Prehospital Care was established as a division of the emergency department at the University of Rochester Medical Center in September 1996. The OPC oversees nearly 2,500 paid and volunteer prehospital medics who respond to close to 150,000 emergency medical calls each year in Monroe and Livingston Counties. The office's 911 centers receive over 300,000 emergency calls per year serving a regional population of 800,000.

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