When a natural disaster or a pandemic occurs, it is typical for the impacted area to set up pop-up hospitals for volunteer clinicians to help when hospitals are overcrowded. With individuals arriving at these pop-up hospitals from neighboring cities or states, interoperability is crucial, but it is also tricky to attain. Developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) in 2014, The Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE) platform provides secure health data exchange during an emergency. The platform can integrate directly through the eHealth Exchange.
PULSE, a cloud-based solution, enables emergency responders to search for health information, such as medications, diagnoses, allergies, and lab results on disaster victims. The solution limits access to only authorized personnel and a ‘view only’ format for medical information.
The platform works by aggregating data from health information exchanges in specific geographic regions and makes the data mobile-optimized. This makes it easier for first responders and volunteers to access health data that is often difficult to reach during emergencies such as pandemics, wildfires, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, or tornadoes.