A hospital’s ability to communicate—whether internally or externally with other hospitals and health care partners—is essential, especially in the event of an emergency. The Wisconsin Tracking Resources and Communication System (WI-Trac) is an internet-based hospital bed management platform that has been provided free of charge since the mid-2000s by the Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Program (WHEPP). WHEPP is a program administered by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in partnership with WHA and other stakeholders to support hospital emergency preparedness planning and response to mass casualty incidents and other emergencies.
WI-Trac allows hospitals to alert and communicate with each other and with their emergency response partners in emergency and non-emergency events alike. The WI-Trac dashboard provides inpatient open bed capacity as well as information about important diagnostic and intervention capabilities such as CT scanner, cardiac catheterization lab and stroke intervention availability. Additionally, WI-Trac allows users to issue many types of alerts, including a mass casualty incident (MCI) alert that polls hospitals in real-time on their emergency department surge capacity. Michael Clark, MD, emergency and EMS physician and WHEPP medical advisor, explains, "During an MCI event, the MCI alert function allows hospitals to update their receiving capacity as often as they need and allows hospitals to communicate the changes region-wide with a single action rather than multiple phone calls. Both MCI capacity and bed capacity allow for assessment of regional capacity and status for individual facilities and area or regional coordination centers."
WI-Trac may also be used during non-emergency events, including when trying to place or transfer a patient. Clark explains, "WI-Trac allows hospitals to share the availability of inpatient beds to assist in patient transfers and assessment of regional bed status. Knowing in advance how likely another facility is to have a bed may reduce the number of facilities a physician needs to call to find an accepting facility."
For more information or to schedule WI-Trac training for your facility, contact your local health care coalition coordinator or Andrew Brenton, WHA assistant general counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-274-1820.