The emergence of COVID-19 has impacted many components of the EMS sector. Demand changes – both in call volume and composition – have emerged in all jurisdictions across emergency and patient transfer activities. Adapting pre-hospital management of cases to ensure the safest and most appropriate treatment and transport decisions has been key to ensuring sufficient capacity within the wider health care system.
Rapid Change Leveraging Existing Tools
Staff and patient welfare concerns have required agencies to rapidly implement assurance processes to ensure staff are not at risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Leveraging existing deployment and resource management technology, like Logis IDS, helps systems quickly change and adapt to meet new challenges.
The robust toolset provides intelligent decision support to modify response plans, identify higher-risk situations and automate staff welfare monitoring.
Applying Custom Logic & Rules for Staff Safety
Transfer processing rules allow the automatic triggering of specific actions when certain parameters are met, providing an easy-to-use interface based on an “if this, then do that” approach. Common attributes include:
- Dispatch Areas
- Pick-up/Delivery Operational Areas
- Pick-up/Delivery Credentials
- Pick-up/Delivery Required tasks (Answered tasks)
- Address Exceptions
- Response Areas
- General Requirements
- Other deployment-specific business logic rules
This powerful tool provides additional levels of customisation to variables as noted in the figure below:
Identifying Higher Risk Patients
With more than 250,000 patient movements per year, it was critical that the HealthShare Patient Transport Service in New South Wales, Australia automate the identification of patients with a higher risk of being COVID positive. Using a combination of measures, HealthShare was able to uniquely identify these patients and create response plans to minimise risk to staff and other patients. These included:
- Creating a script within the processing rules functionality to check for certain words in free text comments from requestors. This screened for words like “COVID” and “corona” and automatically tagged the transport request with COVID notification while also placing the request on hold for clinical review.
- Adding a newly defined requirement to the call taking process that allowed call handlers to identify COVID-related calls for reporting purposes and automatically apply COVID response conditions.
- Identifying specific locations, including private addresses that were high-risk locations for COVID to automatically trigger the COVID escalation pathway.
Customisable Tools to Improve Safety
Medstar Mobile HealthCare uses Logis IDS to ensure the safety of its staff and those they interact with by instituting new start-of-shift checklists.
The Logis Mobile application was modified immediately to capture key information such as:
- Staff member temperature checks
- Availability of full personal protection equipment (PPE)
This information is included in the dispatchers’ checklist before a resource can commence its shift, providing supervisory overview opportunities to ensure the health and safety of staff and patients.
These two services continue to leverage customizable existing technology to quickly change and adapt to meet new challenges. With Logis’ hands-on customer support, these modifications happened quickly, painlessly, and within existing systems, avoiding any lag time or training downtime. Where others struggled with ambiguity, Logis IDS customers had the tools to adapt rapidly, keeping patients and staff safe while addressing a new and uncertain situation.