Emergency Preparedness ID
Powerful Patient, 2009 Week 5
Host: Joyce Graff, http://powerfulpatient.org, firstname.lastname@example.org 800-767-4845
Joyce Graff speaks with Jodi Levine, President and CEO of Emergentag, about their approach to carrying key health information with you that will be needed by first responders in an emergency situation.
About Our Guest
Jodi L. Levine is President and CEO of EmergenTag. She earned her MBA from Northwestern University in Illinois. She has been a hospital administrator since 1990, a long-distance caregiver for aging parents, and a patient herself for several years with a condition that caused her to be rushed to the hospital multiple times. Out of that experience, she and her brother designed and founded EmergenTag.
An EmergenTag is a USB Flash drive which contains software allowing the owner to insert and update health care information, and allowing emergency personnel to navigate the information readily.
If you decide to purchase an EmergenTag, and you do so through this website, the Powerful Patient will receive a small donation from EmergenTag.
In addition to the podcast conversation, and in addition to the Frequently Asked Questions on their website http://www.emergentag.com/FAQ.html Joyce asked Jodi a number of more technical questions that were cut from the final podcast but which we list here for those who are interested.
How many ambulances have computers on board? An increasing number do, but there are still ambulances that do not have computers. Depending on the critical nature of your health care information (such as diabetes or Coumadin/warfarin use) you might want to also have a bracelet with this information in plain text. An EmergenTag still allows you to convey a richer set of information to the hospital staff – complete medication list, multiple people to contact, etc.
Won’t hospitals be wary of inserting a flash drive into their computers, for fear of viruses? EmergenTags are manufactures on certified virus-free computers. If you have a virus on your home computer and use that computer to build your information, there is a possibility that you could accidentally insert a virus onto the EmergenTag. Most hospitals have very good virus protection and will automatically screen any new device for viruses. Hospitals are accustomed to having staff and physicians carry information with them on flash drives, and are prepared for this. Best to be sure that the computer on which you build your information is virus-free.
If I put my health information on the flash drive, and it is inserted into the hospital’s computer, how much of that is left on the hospital computer, or might be copied by a staff member who might potentially misuse my information? Once you build your information, it is locked onto the device in such a way that it cannot be copied except by you the owner. When it is run on the hospital’s computer, it runs only in memory, nothing is copied to their disks. If the nurse needs a copy of your medications list, that and some other selected pages may be printed out, but nothing may be copied to their computer.