Database Linking Arkansas Hospitals Goes Live

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Officials say a new computer database linking hospitals has gone online, the first step in establishing a trauma care network around the state.

The database activated yesterday - called a "dashboard" - allows hospital workers to determine which facilities have specialists and room available for patients. For example, a hospital in Little Rock could find other hospitals with available spine specialists, neurosurgeons or space in intensive care.

The database was paid for with $200,000 from Governor Beebe's emergency fund. In its next session, starting in January, the Legislature is expected to consider legislation on how to establish and pay for a statewide trauma network. Arkansas is one of three states without such a network.

The database links major hospitals in Arkansas, along with The Med in Memphis, Tennessee; and CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System in Texarkana, Texas.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)