MedicAlert Foundation: Emergency Support for Patients and Carers

In an era where we can track our Amazon.com order from door-to-door, our Uber driver’s exact location, and the number of “likes” on our Facebook post, why isn’t our health and well-being this connected? Why isn’t the medical information that matters most this readily available, exactly when you need it? With MedicAlert, it is.

Established in 1956, MedicAlert Foundation is an international non-profit, charity organization that pioneered the first medical information and identification service. Dr. Marion Collins founded MedicAlert Foundation in the USA response to a life-threatening allergic reaction that his daughter suffered. Today, MedicAlert Foundation serves 4 million members worldwide through a global network of international affiliates including Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Iceland, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.

If you are interested in knowing more of MedicAlert, check out this video:

MedicAlert’s mission

“To save and protect lives by sharing information”

This means the organization serves as the link between members and first responders, or other medical professionals, during emergencies and other times of need, or what we call your MedicAlert Moment. With MedicAlert, first responders and medical professionals have reliable access to a member’s most critical health information. This immediate access can help providers diagnose a person’s issue sooner, reduce errors, improve safety, and support both better care and outcomes.

In the United States, there are approximately 650,000 emergency calls each day. It is estimated that as many as 33% of those facing an emergency, and whom are hospitalized, may experience harm or an adverse event, often from preventable errors. In a previous study conducted by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, people who experienced an adverse event had extended stays at the hospital which averaged 8 to 12 days longer than those who did not experience an adverse event.

The study indicated many of these adverse events are simply due to a lack of information regarding the person’s allergies, medications or pre-existing conditions. The result of not having this information readily available may lead to delayed diagnosis, improper treatment and adverse drug reactions, which increases costs and can have negative effect on a person’s health.

In today’s world, with headline after headline about harnessing the power of data, a lack of information should never have such a potentially harmful impact on someone’s health. MedicAlert services are designed to ensure this information is available within minutes of that MedicAlert Moment.

How MedicAlert works?

First, you select a MedicAlert ID, which is engraved with a member’s most vital health and identification information and includes MedicAlert’s toll-free phone number along with a member’s unique ID number.

During a MedicAlert Moment, first responders and medical professionals look for MedicAlert’s internationally recognized medical IDs as a source of important medical information during the assessment of a patient. A first responder will then contact MedicAlert’s 24/7 Emergency Response Team and provide the member’s unique ID number, will access the member’s health record and share additional information.

HowMedicAlertWorks

This around-the-clock service gives members peace of mind and ensures that first responders and hospital staff have ‘up-to-date medical information when they need it. A member’s comprehensive medical history, directives, precautions and wishes are communicated instantly, so that no time is lost “getting up to speed” or worse, “guessing” about a person’s condition. Additionally, it provides family notification so that members can be reunited with loved ones.

MedicAlert speaks for its members in an emergency.

medicalert

Who should consider a MedicAlert membership?

  • If you want your critical health and personal information conveyed, or made available, 24/7, even when you might not be able to share it
  • If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, epilepsy or seizures, or a cardiovascular issue such as hypertension, heart disease or stroke
  • If you have allergies (food and drug)
  • If you have Alzheimer’s/ dementia, autism or are at risk for wandering
  • If you have an implanted device such as a coronary stent or pacemaker
  • If you lead an active lifestyle: extreme athletes, cyclists, runners, hikers, etc.
  • If you travel frequently, or for an extended period

How can you support MedicAlert on MedShr?

MedShr is pleased to work with MedicAlert to bring greater awareness of the importance of information sharing in emergencies and in times of need. We’re keen to hear your views on how MedicAlert can help you to treat patients more effectively, and to support learning in acute and emergency care.

Join the discussion today around the cases below.

Do you have any interesting Emergency Medicine or Urgent Care cases? Share and discuss them with other doctors and healthcare professionals on MedShr!

About MedShr

Developed by doctors, MedShr is the easiest and safest way for medical professionals to discover, discuss and share clinical cases and medical images. The network has over 500,000 members in 180 countries and covers each clinical specialty. MedShr is GMC and HIPAA compliant.

Download the MedShr app for free from the App Store or Google Play. Alternatively, you can register on the website.

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