Emergency Access and Notification

Increasingly we live in a world of connected health, where we expect our doctors and nurses to have complete access to our medical information from all sources.  As important, consumers expect to have equal access to their own comprehensive personal health information through a multi-provider patient portal or a Personal Health Record (PHR).

One of the primary objectives of the PHR is to ensure that patients have the right information, at the right time, at the right place, particularly in an emergency. Families expect that their PHR will have a "break-the-glass" feature that allows select information to be viewed in an emergency. The patent-pending SPINN Emergency Access and Notification feature meets this critical requirement.

Following is a representation of the flow of information using the SPINN Emergency Access and Notification feature:

In this instance, SPINN has also been configured to transmit the patient’s emergency information directly to the EMS or hospital.

Use Case
Mom is 89 years old and lives across town. She wants to stay in her own home, but we know that time is nearing an end. She is suffering from type 2 diabetes and is increasingly confused. Often, she can’t remember whether she has taken her glucose reading or her insulin. Is this the first sign of dementia?

Her daughter is the family health manager. She hopes that through technology she can honor her mother’s wish to stay in her own home a bit longer. Through SPINN, even though her mother doesn’t have a computer, she can see whether or not her mother has taken her glucose meter reading today, and whether the glucose value is in the acceptable range. She also relies on SPINN to know when her mother receives emergency medical attention.

On a recent trip to the grocery store (a short walk from the house), mom became dizzy and collapsed. The store clerk called 911. While they were waiting for EMS to arrive, they noticed her bracelet showing the emergency medicine caduceus, along with the SPINN Emergency Access web address and Mom’s unique id number.

Using an iPhone, they typed in the web address and id number and received a summary of emergency medical information including:
    1. Name and address
    2. Medications
    3. Conditions
    4. Allergies

Although mom’s PHR contains far more information, these are the only pieces of information they have chosen to make available in an emergency.

A few moments later, the daughter receives a text message indicating that mom’s emergency medical information is being viewed, along with the name of the person viewing the information and the phone number. The daughter calls immediately and, based on that call, meets the EMT and her mom at the local hospital as the ambulance arrives.

Because of the emergency information that was available on scene, the EMTs knew what to expect and can better anticipate their response. Because the daughter received an automated message and placed the call, she was able to participate in the care and to provide comfort to her mother during this disturbing experience.

SPINN lets you decide what information should be available in an emergency. In an emergency, there is no way to necessarily know if the person seeking the information is a trusted emergency professional or just a stranger trying to help. So, SPINN lets you decide what information is available for the general public. In fact, SPINN can be configured so no personal health information is visible, although the automated notification can still be sent.

SPINN lets you decide who should receive emergency alerts. The SPINN account manager can decide who should receive messages and what format (email or text).

The SPINN Emergency Access & Notification feature can be turned on or off. Unlike EMR systems where the family has no effective control over access to the information and must rely upon HIPAA and other security and privacy protections, with SPINN each account holder has the ability to decide whether the Emergency Access & Notification feature should be available at all. SPINN gives members increased control over their Personal Health Information.

Security and privacy considerations
The SPINN Emergency Access & Notification feature is designed for people for whom the risk of not having access to critical information is more important than the risk that selected personal health information could be disclosed to the wrong party.

For families dealing with dementia, or certain allergies, whether to food or medications, notice of the condition is the highest priority. For other families, the unauthorized disclosure of information (such as certain conditions or medications) may be of greater risk than the potential benefit of disclosing that information.

SPINN is designed to allow every family to make this critical decision for him or her self.

Of all the benefits to SPINN, this is the one feature most often cited by users as giving them the best and newest value.