SAN MARCOS, TEXAS
– Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) has teamed up with the San Marcos Fire Department and San Marcos Hays County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) on the Personal Health Information (PHI) Program.
The PHI is a life-saving document that can be folded up and placed in a pouch on a person’s refrigerator. The record contains an individual’s health history, allergies and medications they are taking. An accompanying PHI sticker is placed on the front window of the home, which local first responders are trained to look for upon arrival.
“Our firefighters and EMS providers encounter situations every day where people are unable to provide us with detailed medical information,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Les Stephens. “The PHI program allows our citizens an opportunity to prepare that information for us before an actual emergency. It helps us help them.”
The PHI Program was spearheaded by San Marcos Resident Michelle McIntyre after her mother, Sarah Ellen McFarland-Zacher, passed away in 2012. McFarland-Zacher experienced severe chest pains that eventually led to cardiac arrest, and, during treatment, she was administered four doses of epinephrine, a heart attack drug also known as adrenaline. Unfortunately, she had a severe allergy to the drug.
After the incident, McIntyre started working to develop the PHI Program to alert medical professionals of a patient’s allergies, medications and other vital health information. “I think it will help families, especially the non-English speaking population,” McIntyre said. “It will save a lot of time, and (medical workers) can spend that time trying to calm the patient or take care of their needs.”
A PHI kickoff event is scheduled for Thursday, October 9 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the main dining room of Stone Brook Seniors Community, located at 300 Stagecoach Trail in San Marcos. The social event will feature pie and coffee, and sugar free options will be available. Guests will be encouraged to fill out their PHI documents on site and will be provided with the PHI pouch and stickers for their homes.
“The PHI program is an invaluable asset to EMS personnel and first responders when caring for a patient with a medical emergency. This is often a very stressful time for patients and families, and valuable pieces of information may be unavailable or widely scattered around the home,” said Christopher Alexander, San Marcos Hays County EMS chief. “Collecting this very important information in one easily identifiable space makes it readily available to us should you require our emergency services.”
The event is sponsored by Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) Home Health, the San Marcos Fire Department and San Marcos Hays County EMS. People of all ages are welcome to attend. “It’s not just for the retired or disabled; it’s for everyone,” McIntyre said.
An electronic fillable PHI form is also available online at http://bit.ly/PHIForm
. For more information, please call Lisa Adams, CTMC community relations coordinator, at (512) 753-3608.
“We have an exceptional hospital, EMS people and first responders,” McIntyre said. “It was just an unfortunate accident that this happened to mother, but she was in ill health and had made preparations for her end. There was a reason it happened to mother, so that I could embark upon my quest to get this information out to others.” ###
The hospital, which originated in 1923 as Hays County Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Memorial Hospital, was restructured in 1960. The present facility was opened at its current Wonder World Drive location in 1983. The CTMC staff of more than 600 employees works with more than 220 active and consulting physicians to provide quality services to patients and their families.
In addition, over 200 community members and interns from area educational institutions volunteer their services to the hospital. In 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, CTMC was named The Best Hospital in Hays County. CTMC also added a certified Chest Pain Center to its ER capabilities in 2011 and became an accredited Primary Stroke Center in 2013. In 2012, CTMC became the first operating room along the IH-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to be equipped with a da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery suite.
CTMC is a member of the Adventist Health System (AHS), a not-for-profit healthcare organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Founded in 1973, Adventist Health System is a national leader in quality, safety and patient satisfaction. Today, Adventist Health System supports 45 campuses in 10 states and employs nearly 70,000 individuals. Adventist Health System hospitals are comprised of more nearly 8,300 licensed beds, providing care for 4.5 million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits.