Providers of emergency medical services (EMS) have a lot of responsibility on their plate. When someone’s health is in danger, EMS responders must ensure that they arrive at the right place, at the right time. It’s no secret that timely and efficient dispatch of EMS saves lives. But it also tightens the coordination between medical teams, and it enhances the quality of work they do from the site of the emergency to the hospital.
In light of the health crises, those involved in EMS may be looking for ways to strengthen their response. It’s easy for staff to get overwhelmed by an increasing volume of calls, as well as greater variety and complexity in emergency cases. This scenario is even more likely to happen if healthcare providers are using the same technologies that they relied on last year. One thing’s for certain: if an institution wants to improve its EMS, it must empower its staff to respond to patients in a faster, smarter, and more efficient manner. A significant part of that lies in upgrading to better technology, adopting a more data-driven approach to EMS, and pairing any modernization efforts with corresponding efforts to bolster human resources.
Here are five applications of using technology to improve EMS. A healthcare institution like yours can consider these when exploring EMS innovations, like an integrated ambulance dispatch software.
Scheduling the Timely Arrival of Emergency Medical Services
One challenge of EMS is managing a large volume of calls and arranging for timely arrival of medical care onsite. This is where solutions like computer-aided dispatch technology (CAD) comes into play. First, the technology can be used to sort the calls according to the type of case they represent. Then, it can help dispatchers and other staff from the EMS communication center to assign these cases to available vehicles and personnel. And thanks to global positioning system (GPS) technology, staff can quickly pinpoint the patient’s location and assign the closest ambulance over there to help.
Determining Which Resources Are Needed to Respond to an Emergency Situation
Another difficult task that CAD technology can help EMS responders with is the allocation of proper resources for every emergency. The exact nature of each case will determine the type of vehicle needed and how many vehicles need to be dispatched. The medical equipment and supplies that should be available, as well as the number of paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) on board, also varies on a case-to-case basis. CAD can assist personnel to make quick and accurate decisions on matters like these so that there is no lack of resources for each intervention.
Feeding Information to Crew in Real-Time
A good ambulance dispatch system should allow responders to deal with emergency cases closer to real time. The dispatch system should be available to the personnel’s tablet or mobile phone to help crew members across different locations to receive timely updates about updates to the trip they were dispatched to. Communications personnel can also give a heads up to ambulance crew about any last minute schedule changes without needing radio communication. In essence, technology can eliminate the layer of unnecessary communication between crew members and dispatchers before they actually administer care. As medical staff know for a fact, being able to adjust quickly can make all the difference.
Work in Synchrony
EMS is a challenging work because the need to coordinate never stops. From the minute a call is received to the minute the patient arrives to the healthcare facility, staff have to work in tireless synchrony. Using CAD can keep staff from getting in each other’s way and instead, help them coordinate better. The goal should be to attend to emergency patients in a manner similar to how F1 pit crews maintain vehicles during a race: with precision, accuracy, and impeccable teamwork.
Boosting Unit Hour Utilization
Without proper technology for ambulance dispatching in place, an EMS organization may face wasted resources where some ambulances and crew members are overworked, and others are idol. One solution is to run data analytics on the EMS team’s average case response time and unit hour utilization (UHU) percentages. Staff who are in charge of reading this data can use it to detect bottlenecks in their process or specific regions that they service. With this data on hand, they know where to investigate and make informed decisions about how to address these bottlenecks and therefore boost the overall performance of the EMS team and the profitability of the EMS organization.
Conclusion: Adopting Enhanced EMS Technologies Can Truly Save Lives
Technology will continue to play a large part in medical practice, especially in a high-stakes area like EMS. It can supplement the noble work that dispatchers, paramedics, EMTs, ambulance drivers, doctors, and nurses do for patients in vulnerable situations. To expand and enhance your emergency medical services, consider implementing more up-to-date technologies. Doing so will allow you to help more people who are in critical condition.
This post has been sponsored by Glen Dimaandal Inc.
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