Real-time rapid response
After consulting with Western Cape EMS, we proposed and implemented a calltaking and dispatch solution. We created a hosted infrastructure on our private cloud platform for centralised deployment. This supports Western Cape EMS’s six emergency control centres and new mobile devices in its ambulances. The solution is underpinned by a multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) wide area network (WAN) and a security layer.
‘An emergency call to our contact centre is routed to the most suitable call taker,’ explains Dr de Vries. ‘The call taker captures the location and other details using an intuitive map and map search functionality. The system finds the most appropriate dispatcher and feeds them this information in real-time.’
The incident and patient information are stored directly on the web server, which allows for centralised data storage. From this point, the dispatcher is able to select and assign the closest ambulance and response unit.
Mobility and the on-the-scene tracking
‘The ambulance’s location is constantly tracked and updated,’ he says. ‘The response team can follow the most efficient route using a mobile tablet in the front of the ambulance, while receiving updates or sending other requests to the dispatcher.’
In the back of the ambulance, paramedics use a device to electronically receive and update clinical records about the patient’s condition. ‘While this doesn’t affect performance,’ he says, ‘it’s a critical function and will impact the immediate care of the patient – it also allows us to analyse the quality of the care at a later stage.’
From the time an incident is logged to the moment the patient is handed over to staff at a hospital or medical facility, the status and progress of the incident are tracked and, more important, captured for further analysis and insight.
For the non-emergency patient transport services using HealthNET, we streamlined a booking system that simplified communication and improved the service.
‘Patients can book transport when visiting a facility and receive an SMS to confirm dates, time of arrival, and so forth,’ says Dr de Vries. ‘If the patient isn’t able to make an appointment, it just takes a simple SMS to cancel the service.’