It’s the year 2014 and technology surrounds us in our everyday lives. It’s nearly impossible to walk down the street or visit a coffee shop without seeing numerous individuals using their laptop or mobile device. Let’s face it, technology is here to stay and it’s only going to become more embedded as time moves forward.
So what’s that have to do with EMS? Whether you know it or not most modern EMS organizations rely heavily on technology to keep operations running smoothly and to provide a high level of patient care. Here at Acute Medical Services, LLC, it is no exception.Acute Medical Services, LLC has one of the most advanced technology infrastructures in the industry. Let’s take a peak behind the scenes and learn about the lifecycle of an EMS or 911 call.
When you contactAcute Medical Services, LLC, be it for an emergent or non-emergent transport you are greeted by a dispatcher. The dispatcher has an array of technology at their disposal to ensure your transport is carried out in a safe, rapid, and efficient manner. Let’s start off with our CAD (computer aided dispatch) system.Acute Medical Services, LLC carefully evaluated several well known CAD packages all of which had their merits. In the end we decided it was best to develop our own CAD system custom-tailored to what we do best, providing superior patient care. With a successful deployment of our own CAD system we are gearing up to license this technology to other agencies who are looking for an affordable, cloud-based solution for their operations. Our CAD is scalable, fault-tolerant (we don’t crash), and highly secure (Encrypted and HIPAA compliant). As soon as you begin to supply your information to aAcute Medical Services, LLC dispatcher, our CAD system is immediately going to work building the call and alerting the medic staff of the call. So what does this mean to you? It means our dispatch and response times are in the top 5 percentile in the industry. Within 2-3 minutes of our dispatcher taking your call we have a unit en route to transport you or your loved one. Think about this for a moment, 2-3 minutes. That’s fast!
Twenty years ago before CAD systems became a mainstay in the EMS industry, dispatchers relied solely on radio or telephone to relay call information to the field staff. In fact, calls were written down on paper and filed away. Those days are long gone. We input your information into our CAD and it is instantly shipped out to our field staff via SMS (Text message), Email, and our proprietary mobile tablet (iPad/Android) interface. Now using a CAD system, updates happen in realtime to assure that both our dispatch and field staff are always primed with the latest information. Many CAD systems suffer from the old cliche, “Data rich, information poor”. That’s whereAcute Medical Services, LLC’ CAD system differs. The system monitors the status of the call, while reporting the elapsed time to dispatch and triggers alerts automatically if the call seems to be running longer than expected. On top of that we are able to run detailed reports on all calls and generate analytics to provide call metrics to gauge response times and look for trends that need addressing. Not only is our CAD feature-rich, but it’s also proactive and autonomous in how it handles data.
Let’s get back to the call flow process. Once the patient information is input into the CAD and data is shipped to the field we are able to monitor the exact location of the ambulance via a proprietary GPS tracking system. As well the dispatcher is given realtime data as to what units are available to respond to the call and allows them to choose the closest available unit to respond. This results in lower response times and an increased level of patient care. There is a term known as, “The Golden Hour” which is the first 60 minutes from the time of call origin. It’s vital that the patient is transported and treated within this hour to maintain the best possible outcome. Between our realtime CAD system and our GPS tracking capabilities you can rest easy knowing that you or your loved one is given the best and most efficient care possible. Here at Acute Medical Services, LLC we pride ourselves on safety, so our systems are also able to monitor driving habits, vehicle speed, and other metrics to ensure a safe transport. The bottom line is we know where the patient is and the current status of the call in realtime. When it comes to patient care we don’t “guess”, we know!
In addition to the CAD and GPS systems we leverage a sophisticated radio system to facilitate communication between dispatch and our field staff. We own private radio frequencies which equates to dedicated radio communications solely for the organization. We do not share “bandwidth” or transmit over radio frequencies that are shared by other agencies. Our radio system leverages a fault-tolerant infrastructure with multiple repeaters and high-power antennas. Clear and lossless communication over a very large area is made easy by this robust system. Although we could rely solely on the CAD and GPS systems to transmit data back and forth we feel that it’s best to have multiple routes of communication which is why having a reliable radio infrastructure in place is crucial to any EMS organization.
One of the weakest links in the call process can be the dispatch center. If power, Internet, or communications are disrupted in the main dispatch center there is a potential for slow response times and a breakdown in communication. This is whereAcute Medical Services, LLC differs. We utilize an advanced VOIP (Voice over IP) phone system that allows us to maintain multiple points of dispatch. In the event of disaster, we are able to automatically dispatch from one of our other locations within seconds. Since we leverage VOIP and cloud-based systems, we are also able to operate and dispatch anywhere at any time.
Earlier we mentioned HIPAA compliance and encryption. This is an important topic that many EMS organizations overlook. Privacy and data security is very important atAcute Medical Services, LLC so we utilize the latest in encryption technologies and HIPAA best practices to ensure secure data storage and transmission. Adhering to these practices is a priority to Acute Medical Services, LLC as it should be for any EMS organization. In all of the years that we have been operating we have never had an instance of data breach. That speaks volumes in and of itself.
You may be asking yourself, “All of this technology is great, but what happens if something goes wrong?”. We have that covered. All of our technology and server infrastructure is monitored 24/7 in realtime. If a problem is detected our IT team is immediately notified and deployed to address the issue. We take a proactive approach to disaster recovery in that we circumvent the problem before the term, “disaster” even comes into play. The technology infrastructure is only as good as the staff that maintain it thus Acute Medical Services, LLC employs only the best IT staff in the industry and provides continued education and training to keep our staff on the cutting-edge of technology. Not only do we provide superior patient care, but our IT staff is highly-skilled and well-versed in the EMS industry. We know EMS and IT, and we excel at both.
The technology in EMS does not stop here. At Acute Medical Services, LLC we utilize advanced, top of the line equipment on all of our ambulances. Whether it’s monitors, IV pumps, or vents, we spare no expense, using only the best equipment. Our field staff are trained on each piece of equipment and certified where applicable. By utilizing advanced equipment and providing proper training we are offer the very best in progressive patient care to our clients.
Im summary, a lot has changed in the EMS industry over the last twenty years. As technology becomes more abundant EMS agencies must strive to keep up with the times. Technology will only advance and here at Acute Medical Services, LLC we intend to grow with it. We cannot speak for other agencies, but we embrace technology and leverage it in almost everything we do. Times are changing with the advent of technology and the Internet so it’s important to choose an EMS organization which understands and employs it properly. We are confident that by choosing Acute Medical Services, LLC as your transport provider, you will experience the very best the EMS industry has to offer.