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Last Updated: 10/02/01

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TENKIDS Electronic Community

One of CIT's most celebrated projects has been the development of an electronic community for EMS professionals throughout Montana. A consistent problem in emergency medical care has long been how to give rural areas the resources to improve EMS and to prevent injury and illness. To solve this problem, CIT conceived of a state-wide electronic community that would breach the barriers of geographic location and limited funding that hamper sparsely populated areas.

In 1995 CIT successfully sought a half million dollars in funding from the Office of Rural Health Policy while the Montana EMS and Injury Prevention Section effectively sought a similar grant from Maternal and Child Health. In a remarkable cooperative venture, project leaders built the infrastructure of the TENKIDS electronic community, installing computer hardware and software in every licensed ambulance service in the state. TENKIDS users have access to the electronic bulletin board at the Burns Telecommunications Center at Montana State University - Bozeman to exchange on-line information. Interactive CD-ROM programs were developed (and continue to be developed) for continuing education. A final component of the system is electronic patient care records. Data collection software is being installed, allowing ambulance services to analyze local patient care information, as well as to share data that will provide the first statewide information about prehospital emergency care.

The TENKIDS program received national attention after being recognized as the Innovation of the Week in June by the Peter F. Drucker Foundation and detailed on the Foundation's web site:

http://pfdf.org/innovation/innovation/innovation.asp?innov_id=112

In August 2001, the State of Montana received approval to purchase new computers to upgrade the system through the Emergency Medical Services for Children grant program. The grant award upgrades the hardware in each ambulance service and allows the existing hardware to be recycled to non-transporting ambulance services throughout the state. When the project is completed, the TENKIDS system will extend to prehospital providers in more than 200 services.

In 2000, the Critical Illness and Trauma Foundation, the Burns Telecommunications Center and EMSIPS completed a TENKIDS enhancement project, installing desktop video conferencing equipment on the existing computers. The project demonstrates how the technology can be used for training and communication as providers in two geographically separate sites can share slide shows, see and hear each other, and even mark up examples on a common whiteboard. The technology also holds great promise for developing distance quality improvement programs, allowing distant medical directors to meet with ambulance service members to discuss how to improve patient care.

CIT Partners:
Montana EMS and Injury Prevention Section
Burns Telecommunications Center

 

Copyright 1997-2001 [Critical Illness & Trauma Foundation]. All rights reserved.
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