Technology and Patient Care - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Technology and Patient Care

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Advances in technology are helping health care in big ways.

In emergencies, time is of the essence.

"The fact that as soon as we can show the physicians and the hospital staff that I have a patient that has an injured heart, the sooner they can start the treatment options," said Maury Martin, Lockwood firefighter paramedic.

The Lockwood Fire Department has a machine that allows paramedics to wirelessly transmit EKG information from the scene to a hospital in less than a minute. The machine combines a defibrillator with the ability to monitor blood pressure and carbon dioxide levels.

"This is the technology that we'll use that will get you into the hospital a lot faster than you can get in there," Martin said. "Not just physically faster but it gets you into the system, it gets you treatments a lot earlier. And I can also start the treatments."

Doctors at Billings Clinic share information through an electronic health record among the hospital and clinics. The network extends to rural communities.

"It does help and improve quality of patient safety to have that in place," said Dr. Karen Cabell, internal medicine physician at Billings Clinic.

Telemedicine has also allowed specialists to visit patients in rural communities.

"We're really lucky in Montana because we're so rural we have these folks that are so far away, we're actually probably on the forefront of what's going to happen nationally," Dr. Cabell said. So really for patients, it helps give them what they need."

Whether it's emergencies or a normal check up, health professionals have the technologies to help.