During a disaster, patients are often transported out of the affected area and away from their usual health care provider system. One of the fundamental lessons learned during Hurricane Katrina was that health professionals need access to patient health information to avoid medical errors, renew medication, and coordinate care.
The “Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies” (PULSE) will establish connections between community health information organizations (HIOs) or health systems via a secure web portal. When a disaster happens, the web portal will be activated so authorized healthcare professionals can access patient records from outside their own health systems through their existing electronic health record system or through a secure website. Eventually healthcare providers will be able to access electronic health records from all over the state whether they are treating patients in an unfamiliar hospital, an alternate care site or a mobile field hospital.