New software system will coordinate routine emergency and disaster response resources.
Hospitals in King County are improving coordination to get people the care they need in an emergency situation, thanks to the
KCHealthTrac system launched today. The new web-based software system tracks emergency department status and hospital
bed availability on a daily basis, enhancing healthcare providers’ ability to manage patient intake. During a large-scale disaster,
the system will also act as a central clearinghouse for managing medical resources across the region.
"This robust system allows us not only to track hospital bed capacity, but also to track important medical supplies and other
vital resources during a disaster," said Chris Martin, administrative director, Trauma and Emergency Services, Harborview
Medical Center. "It's a great step forward for our region's emergency preparedness."
In addition to hospitals, emergency dispatch centers and Emergency Medical Services providers will be able to access
KCHealthTrac to check how much capacity each emergency department has at any moment before deciding where to route
During a large-scale emergency, KCHealthTrac will alert healthcare providers and emergency responders and function as a tool
for situational awareness and management of pharmaceuticals and other medical resources. The system can also track patients
and provide a public portal for reuniting family members with their loved ones. The same system was effectively used to
manage the medical response after the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis in 2007.
“This new tool will not only serve us well during catastrophic events, but will also improve health service day-to-day,” said Dr.
David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle and King County. “KCHealthTrac will allow more nimble
responses to people’s medical needs, whether it’s helping ambulance dispatchers find the ER that can take one more patient or
providing emergency responders with a snapshot of the healthcare system after an earthquake."
The King County Healthcare Coalition purchased the system in collaboration with Harborview Medical Center using federal funds
for hospital emergency preparedness.
The King County Healthcare Coalition is a network of healthcare organizations and providers that are committed to
strengthening the healthcare system for emergencies. The purpose of the Coalition is to develop a coordinated and effective
medical and public health system response to all hazards through effective communications, strategic acquisition and
management of resources, and collaborative response planning.