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San Bernardino County wins three prestigious awards from state organization: Automating hospital referral records, improving the quality of health care for patients and streamlining access to services for the homeless are three of the outstanding County programs recognized Tuesday by the California State Association of Counties.
Three 2015 CSAC Challenge Awards will be presented to the County’s Information Services Department, Inland Counties Emergency Medical Agency (ICEMA) and the Sheriff’s Department at an upcoming Board of Supervisors meeting.
“These awards show our County’s commitment to improve the lives of our residents, particularly in the field of health and wellness,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to be recognized once again by CSAC.”
The CSAC Challenge Awards are part of a competitive recognition program that honors the best and most innovative among California’s 58 counties. This year, CSAC received more than 250 entries and judges awarded 40 programs throughout the state.
The following are descriptions of each of the County’s CSAC Challenge Awards:
Automated Referral Tracking System - Information Services Department: The Automated Referral Tracking System is a web-based system designed to assist doctors and medical staff at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center to efficiently track and manage referrals on a daily basis. Prior to the ARTS system implementation, referrals were handled in a manual process, backlogged and in some cases got lost. Now medical staff has eliminated the backlog and the possibility of a lost or dropped referral is down to zero.
ICEMA Continuation of Specialty Care - ICEMA: ICEMA designed a program for EMS providers to recognize the specialized needs of patients - particularly those with trauma, stroke and heart issues - and deliver them to a hospital that is best able to treat their needs. Through the end of 2014, approximately 25 percent of 8,000 patients included in the ICEMA registries with these specialized needs were transferred to specialty care and half of those transfers were made in under an hour. Now patients that may have otherwise had to wait longer for transfer to an appropriate medical facility will not have to endure a delay in treatment.
The Homeless Outreach Proactive Enforcement (H.O.P.E.) program - Sheriff’s Department: The H.O.P.E. team is a collaborative effort among law enforcement and public agencies to accomplish a more meaningful and efficient response to homelessness. Deputies team up with mental health clinicians and conduct outreach to the homeless. Integrating resources such as the Department of Public Health, Behavioral Health, Housing Authority, Veterans Affairs and Code Enforcement has made it possible for deputies to link the homeless with services or shelter, instead of simply relying on arrest and incarceration to solve the problem.
Since July 2013, the H.O.P.E. program has contacted more than 820 homeless people and obtained housing for 110 people and linked 400 others to some form of assistance.
Submersion (Drowning) Season is Here - Early: Death caused by submersion (drowning) accidents thru June of 2015 have already exceeded the death statistics for the calendar year of 2014 for San Bernardino County. There have been 6 adult submersions, 4 were fatalities and 16 pediatric submersions, 3 were fatalities and 1 is severely neurologically impaired. Riverside County is reporting similar trends.
On behalf of the San Bernardino Drowning Prevention Network and in collaboration with ICEMA, we would like to encourage everyone in the EMS community to take every opportunity to educate the public on drowning prevention and water safety. In addition, remind EMS providers or hospital personnel that have responded or received submersion patients to complete the Submersion Incident Report Form (SIRF) and submit it to Michelle Parker at