Ambulance Victoria adopts online system to save lives
- 21 April, 2015 13:49
Ambulance Victoria is working with software company, Readify, to develop technology that helps treat people who are critically ill.
Adult Retrieval Victoria (ARV) - a part of Ambulance Victoria - was struggling to move its records from paper to online with an interim system that didn't allow for real-time digital case management. ARV coordinates doctors, paramedics, transport and equipment to transfer critically ill patients between hospitals.
The department’s 30 clinical coordinators and retrieval specialists handle about 4200 cases a year, working with almost 150 hospitals across the state.
ARV engaged Readify to build two new systems - Adult Retrieval Victoria Information System’ (ARVIS) and ‘Retrieval and Critical Health Information System’ (REACH) - which it believes should become standard practice nationwide.
Readify built and delivered the ARVIS web-based dashboard in six months. The system enables users to view all active case information at a glance, integrating patient demographics, case logistics, communication technologies, risk mitigation and decision support tools.
REACH is a web-based reporting tool now used by ARV, health services and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to monitor state-wide hospital bed occupancy in real-time. It also indicates any resource capacity such as the range of blood products in any given hospital at one time.
As part of REACH, Readify developed the Hospital Incident Consequence Tool for use during large-scale emergencies to monitor hospital statuses and the impact of an incident.
The success of the software development project showed there was huge potential to improve retrieval and critical care coordination and clinical management, said Dr Marcus Kennedy, director of ARV.
“The system we were using provided no real-time functionality. Staff did not have a clear overview of an open patient case and data was potentially out-of-date,” Dr Kennedy said.
“Now, when a patient has to travel between facilities, ARVIS allows us to print or email case summary material to retrieval crews and the destination hospital ... making communication of information clearer and easier reduces the risk of errors.“
Faster and more reliable delivery of retrieval patient care can mean the difference between a patient living or dying, or having a shorter course of recovery, Dr Kennedy said.
“ARVIS and REACH provide a comprehensive level of data about all health services, which allows for better mission planning and ultimately sees us make safer decisions and provide better care to patients across the Victorian Critical Care system,” he said.