Presentation Title

Prevalence and accuracy of medical alert information on cellular phones

Abstract

Patients at times present to the Emergency Department (ED) unable to state who they are and are subsequently registered as “John Doe” or “Jane Doe”. Common causes include unconsciousness or altered mental status due to trauma, intoxication, or severe metabolic derangement. Others may present in respiratory distress and too short of breath to provide information despite a normal mental status. Apart from their underlying medical condition, these patients are often uniquely challenging because the provider cannot access the patient’s medical history, current medications, allergies, advanced directives, primary care physician, or contact information for loved ones. This places an already critically ill patient at risk of medication interactions, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), withdrawal from daily medication not administered during hospitalization, and untreated other chronic medical conditions leading to worsening of that condition. In current practice, police assist in the identification of patients if possible which is a slow and often unsuccessful process.

Most of the youth and adult population now utilize “smart phones” that are carried on their person. These phones offer a “Medical ID” option that can be accessed while the phone is locked. This option is either built into the operating system (Apple iOS) or available as a free app (Android). It lists all the information needed to identify and emergently treat an individual. Currently, no studies exist that measure how many smart phone users have set up their Medical ID, and whether the information contained in the Medical ID is accurate.

Patients who arrive in the ED by ambulance are approached, and with their permission the Medical ID on their phone is accessed. If the Medical ID was set up prior to seeking treatment, it is checked for accuracy by comparing the information with the updated medical record. If erroneous or not set up, we provide information on how to set it up for the patient during their stay in the ED.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Eike Blohm, MD

Secondary Mentor NetID

nbidad

Secondary Mentor Name

Roz Bidad, RN

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Biology

Primary Research Category

Health Sciences

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Prevalence and accuracy of medical alert information on cellular phones

Patients at times present to the Emergency Department (ED) unable to state who they are and are subsequently registered as “John Doe” or “Jane Doe”. Common causes include unconsciousness or altered mental status due to trauma, intoxication, or severe metabolic derangement. Others may present in respiratory distress and too short of breath to provide information despite a normal mental status. Apart from their underlying medical condition, these patients are often uniquely challenging because the provider cannot access the patient’s medical history, current medications, allergies, advanced directives, primary care physician, or contact information for loved ones. This places an already critically ill patient at risk of medication interactions, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), withdrawal from daily medication not administered during hospitalization, and untreated other chronic medical conditions leading to worsening of that condition. In current practice, police assist in the identification of patients if possible which is a slow and often unsuccessful process.

Most of the youth and adult population now utilize “smart phones” that are carried on their person. These phones offer a “Medical ID” option that can be accessed while the phone is locked. This option is either built into the operating system (Apple iOS) or available as a free app (Android). It lists all the information needed to identify and emergently treat an individual. Currently, no studies exist that measure how many smart phone users have set up their Medical ID, and whether the information contained in the Medical ID is accurate.

Patients who arrive in the ED by ambulance are approached, and with their permission the Medical ID on their phone is accessed. If the Medical ID was set up prior to seeking treatment, it is checked for accuracy by comparing the information with the updated medical record. If erroneous or not set up, we provide information on how to set it up for the patient during their stay in the ED.