Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE) PULSE

What is PULSE?

The Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE) is an effort to create national resilience through access to health information during disasters and public health emergencies.

PULSE is more than a technology solution it is a state/local approach to accessing health information during disaster. Every disaster or emergency is local and state specific—PULSE allows for state and locality customization based on needs, policy and other health information technology.

In addition to a technical solution, states/locals will need to consider other components when launching PULSE:

  • Governance
  • Support Services
  • State and local HIE capacity
  • Legal and policy considerations (e.g., activation, privacy security, training, alignment with existing laws and policies, etc.)
  • Programmatic and funding

PULSE Technical Solutions

  • PULSE Community Edition
    A PULSE technical solution managed by ONC that is code only and is scalable, flexible, non-proprietary and available at no cost to state, territorial, local and tribal governments and their public and private sector partners through the ONC GitHub. Community is not currently operational and will need significant developer or state/local government IT support.
  • PULSE Enterprise Edition
    A PULSE technical solution developed and fully supported by Audacious Inquiry. It includes Audacious Inquiry proprietary code and will continue to be optimized over time. There is a fee for onboarding and ongoing support.
  • PULSE COVID
    A PULSE technical solution that is developed and fully supported by Audacious Inquiry, specifically to support the COVID-19 response. This solution will sunset no later than December 31, 2020. There is a fee for onboarding and ongoing support.

History/Background

2013: California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) 1st HIE in EMS Summit

March 2016: EMSA awards the PULSE development contract

July 2017: PULSE California GO-live

October 2017: PULSE California activated 2017 California wildfires

March 2018: CMS funds PULSE California to connect to eHealth Exchange

July 31, 2020: PULSE Community now available

September 2020: Audacious Inquiry to launch a PULSE technical solution

What is the PULSE Community Edition?

ONC has worked to create a new a PULSE technical solution, called the PULSE Community Edition (PULSE Community), to enable first responders and healthcare volunteers access to vital health information during disasters. This option is code only rather than a specific technology product. The solution is scalable, flexible, non-proprietary, and available at no cost to state, territorial, local and tribal governments, and their public and private sector partners through the ONC GitHub.

PULSE Community gives state and local governments more flexibility to build upon existing health information exchange infrastructure, create a more customized PULSE program and system, and utilize existing vendor and developer resources. Additionally, it may create a more innovative and competitive market for other PULSE technical solutions. Interested persons should email ONCPulse@hhs.gov.

PULSE Community Edition:  Getting Started Guide Version 3 (July 2020)

Public and Private Partners Involved with PULSE

 

Content last reviewed on October 21, 2020
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