Products fuel services and services fuel the Savvik need. No one tells a better story about that process than Savvik, but what about the types of service Savvik services? For instance, how do EMS services thrive? Operate? For that matter, how does the process even start? The EMS process starts with EMS dispatch and diligence is critical.
The first call to action in an EMS patient care execution is the EMS dispatch call. That call is crucial in that it is vital for the EMS dispatcher to collect concise information to accurately pass along about the patient. While communications equipment varies, as well as software, within an ems dispatch center, the process remains the same. Dispatch listens to the need and schedules or dispatches the appropriate crew and vehicle to transport the patient.
Toledo’s Mercy Health-Life Flight Network combined three centers in order to achieve efficiency and dispatch best practices. They consider themselves a medium sized dispatch center and utilize a CAD system combined with secure pages to efficiently transfer the patient information. In their peak time the dispatch center can have 20 ambulances and four helicopters in service, and Clinical Field Operations Manager, Chris Schultz is tasked with making certain that proper work processes are followed.
As part of their best work practices, “We, like many dispatch centers, require routine risk assessments for proper execution of ambulance dispatch,” said Schultz, who has occupied his position for a year-and-a-half. “We have at least six stations whose personnel can interchange job needs for accurate processing.”
Dispatch faces the constant pain across the board in the industry which is shift work and staffing. While it is mandatory to work no longer than a 12-hour shift, most dispatchers are scheduled for eight hours, it is also a must to have eight hours of off or downtime until the next shift can be scheduled for the same individual. Healthcare has cracked down on this due to the constant fatigue factor that can be a game changer in any line of succession of patient care.
“Fatigue is a fear in every aspect of the dispatch process and among healthcare workers,” Schultz said with 14 years of service in the healthcare industry. “Fortunately enough people have spoken out to improve the work conditions and technology has played a massive part in bettering the system.”
At the new combined Toledo dispatch center, dispatchers are able to pinpoint cell phone locations and improved computer-aided software can determine what type of ambulance should be dispatched, as well as what type of care is needed. These technological advances have helped improve time management of calls and manner in which service is provided.
Finally, the new Toledo dispatch center, according to Schultz, allows for improved redundancy. Prior, there were three separate dispatch centers each with 1 staff member during the night shift with no back-up. As you know, the redundancy is imperative for best practice dispatch.
Dispatch is only one process that makes Savvik proud to serve the public safety industry. And this is only the beginning. We will be featuring more of the EMS process in future blog posts.