London’s Air AmbulanceDispatch App
London’s Air Ambulance is the charity that delivers an advanced trauma team to critically injured people in London. The charity responds to some of the most severe medical emergencies serving the 10 million people who live, work and commute within the M25. On average, London’s Air Ambulance responds to six of the most critical emergencies per day, treating people at the scene, when there may not be time to get them to a hospital. Time is the most critical factor in helping to increase the chances of helping to save lives or quality of life for people who have suffered serious injury.
In 2013, EE worked with London’s Air Ambulance to bring 4G mobile technology to the response team, in the air and on the ground, to provide access to the Greater London A-Z app. This connectivity would provide access to searchable locations, to help the London’s Air Ambulance team when responding to emergencies. Through this advancement it became apparent that there were further opportunities to use mobile technologies to make improvements to London’s Air Ambulance’s response process.
As EE’s Customised Mobile App Partner, Mubaloo was approached to work with EE and London’s Air Ambulance to identify the opportunities to drive operational improvements through mobile. At the start of 2014 work started to create a new app that would have an impact on London’s Air Ambulance’s processes and response times, to help them save more lives.
Out of the 5,000 emergency calls that are received by the London Ambulance Service every day, we typically see six patients whose injuries are so critical that they need additional specialist treatment on-scene before they get to hospital. Even reducing the time we take to get to our patients by 10 seconds could, in some instances, mean the difference between life and death.
Dr Gareth Grier
London’s Air Ambulance
An advanced trauma paramedic is responsible for identifying the most severe cases and assigning London’s Air Ambulance to respond. Sitting within the London Ambulance Service Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), which deals with 5,000 calls per day, the paramedic looks for the most severe cases, where patients are at high risk of dying.
The process involved calling through the top priority cases to London’s Air Ambulance dispatch, where the details would need to be repeated and confirmed three times, to ensure the information was correct. This information was then fed into a computer to get a print out of the mission information for the air and ground teams.
Through looking at the process, it was apparent that improvements could be made. London’s Air Ambulance worked with EE and Mubaloo to identify ways in which mobile devices and 4G technology could be utilised to reduce the steps required and provide emergency responders with the right information.
Mubaloo worked to create an app that would integrate with the London Ambulance Services system to save time and reduce the chance of human error. It was essential that the app was reliable, secure and was able to immediately receive urgent case information.
In addition to being able to send information to responder teams, the app integrates London A-Z maps to help London’s Air Ambulance’s team accurately navigate to the scene of an incident.
One of the objectives was to ensure that ground and air teams could reduce their dependence on paper processes and paper based maps, with ease of access to emergency information. By creating an app that was intrinsically linked to London’s Air Ambulance’s unique challenges and operational processes, it has been possible to save additional minutes off dispatch and response times.
The app went into live testing in September 2014 for a number of months in conjunction with current processes, to ensure that it was reliable when it eventually went into full-scale deployment in February 2015.
Operating in a high-stress environment, it was essential that the app was able to help provide the right information in an easy to understand way. In addition, London’s Air Ambulance works with some of the top doctors from around the World, who are seconded to the charity for six months. It was therefore important that the app was easy to understand and required minimal training.
Rather than using the typical delivery method of pushing data out, the app was designed to be constantly connected to the system, to ensure accuracy and zero lag time. Through deploying the app to its ground and air team, London’s Air Ambulance has been able to save up to two minutes on its dispatch process. In some incidents, the team, when car based has also been able to be assigned in as little as 10 seconds.
The app has made a huge difference to the way in which London’s Air Ambulance is able to respond to emergencies, especially when the ground or air team has already been deployed. The app enables London’s Air Ambulance to quickly reallocate its team once they have finished a mission.
This is an example of a mission critical app that is having a huge impact on the way in which London’s Air Ambulance operates. The app means that when an emergency is identified, a controller within the EOC can press a button so that the right information is immediately sent out to London’s Air Ambulance. This has a big impact on the human element of London’s Air Ambulance and means that London’s Air Ambulance has a better chance of helping to save lives or help those most in need.
For London’s Air Ambulance, saving time can mean saving lives.
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