LAS VEGAS—At both ends of the innovatED forum space are hydraulic-powered ambulance cots, both seamlessly able to electronically berth in vehicles so gleaming and high-tech, they could double as life-size Transformers toys.
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In the middle stood a captivated Swetang Desai, MD, an emergency physician at Spaulding Regional Medical Center in Griffin in Georgia.
“It’s interesting how you see how competition between different companies that do the same thing is what raises the level of innovation, the technology and how that is used to better take care of our patients,” he said. “The simple fact is that this stuff wasn’t here five years ago. We’re raising the benchmark for what we do for our patients.”
If ACEP16 was a tourism ad, it could be “Come for the sessions, stay for the perks.” And so, thousands of attendees took turns wending through innovatED, two packed Exhibit Halls, the Wellness Center, Studio ACEP, and College-sponsored gatherings across Mandalay Bay.
And while the deluge of products, pitches, and people may seem to be so wide-ranging that they’re not all relevant, Dr. Desai notes that it’s all part of the care process. While modernization of ambulance cots may not seem important to an emergency physician, it should be.
“Pre-hospital care makes a big difference,” he said. “If [emergency-services personnel] have better equipment, better technology to help take care of patients before they get to the ER, that’s one step closer to me and the end result—taking better care of the patients.”
It’s not just the technologies, though. For Alex Robles, a paramedic for American Medial Response of Atlanta, seeing live simulations of disaster response to a mass-casualty event was eye opening.
“Just seeing how they operate, how different people manage those situations” is helpful, Mr. Robles said. “You don’t get that a lot. And seeing the debriefing and some of the pointers they’re giving. [It helps me] to better perform in this situation.”
Performing better every day is pretty much the Wellness Center’s main goal. The scaled-down doctor’s office is an annual rite of ACEP assemblies, drawing scores of physicians who get a good annual check-up but don’t lose free time back home to do so.
Rob Poirier, MD, MBA, FACEP, an emergency physician at BarnesJewish Hospital in St. Louis, said he’s been at every Wellness Center for 10 years, so he can track useful trends because the program encompasses everything from burnout surveys to blood work to blood pressure.