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PeaceHealth Southwest debuts lifesaving "Pulsara" smartphone app

New technology assists multiple emergency medical services (EMS) agencies serving Clark County, Washington

Stroke program manager Louise Jenkins, MSN, shares Pulsara's benefits

August 17, 2017

Multiple emergency medical services (EMS) agencies serving Clark County helped demonstrate Clark County’s new "Pulsara" system on August 16, 2017 at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Pulsara is a smartphone-based communications tool that streamlines and accelerates care for patients suffering heart attack or stroke.

“This is an extremely exciting thing to bring to our community," said Louise Jenkins, MSN, manager of PeaceHealth Southwest's stroke program. "PeaceHealth Southwest is the first hospital in the western United States to deploy this excellent technology, and it has already decreased our treatment time for strokes. During a stroke, lack of blood flow can cause the death of two million brain cells per minute. Every second counts. The beauty of Pulsara is not only its speed, but also its simplicity. Any EMS crew with a smartphone or tablet can use it, and we’re grateful that our local EMS teams are collaborating with us to implement this in our community.”

Dr. Jason Hanley, Medical Director of PeaceHealth Southwest's emergency department, says Pulsara is extremently important for time sensitive patients. "Pulsara allows emergency physicians and specialists to begin making medical decisions before the patient even arrives at the hospital. Their care will be more efficient, with a better chance of recovery."

Representatives from the three Clark County EMS agenices using Pulsara (AMR, North Country EMS, and the Camas-Washougal Fire Department) helped demonstrate the system. With the tap of a smartphone button, a paramedic treating a heart attack or stroke patient instantly notifies everyone on the PeaceHealth Southwest care team that they are on their way in with a critical patient. While in transit, the paramedic team can enter additional patient information, including the patient’s vital signs, ECGs, and photos of injuries. That information is instantly distributed to the smartphone or tablet of every member of the hospital’s care team.

"North Country serves a more rural area, with longer transport times to the hospital, and the feedback from our crews has been positive," said Shawn Ford of North Country EMS, which serves approximately 1,000 square miles in north Clark County and parts of Cowlitz and Skamania counties. "Pulsara allows us to have immediate, secure interactions with hospital physicians. We can send pictures of the patient, screen shots of EKGs, and we can get real-time feedback for suggested treatment plans. It's really nice."

Beyond speed and accuracy, the Pulsara system also enhances protection of sensitive patient information, something not possible using existing cell phone, fax, or two-way radio technology. All information shared via Pulsara is safe and secure.

About PeaceHealth Southwest
The region’s health care leader and steward for 155 years, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is a community-owned, not-for-profit, 450-bed, medical institution located in Vancouver, Washington. Repeatedly recognized nationally as a 100 Top Hospital, PeaceHealth Southwest provides a full range of outpatient and inpatient diagnostic, medical, and surgical services to Clark County residents. PeaceHealth Southwest is also one of Clark County’s largest employers with 3,400 employees and 600 active medical staff members that help support dozens of medical specialty services and programs, including cancer, heart, emergency, trauma, neuro-musculoskeletal, family birth, and primary care. For more information visit


PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center
400 NE Mother Joseph Pl
Vancouver, WA 98664