For Precise Event Management and Patient Care, the Right Software is Essential
Event organisers expect their medical support team to run an integrated system with no margin for error.
See the article in Emergency Services Times on page 72 https://bit.ly/3ZARw5X
Pivotal move from paper
Will Smith is Head of Service at Central Ambulance. When overseeing large events he must ensure: 100% Care Quality Commission (CQC) compliance; correctly specified vehicles; a team of relevantly qualified staff; and collection of live data. Until recently, this was done by hand. “It was literally an A4 diary,” Will recalls. “The whole business reliant on one book.” However, this raised limitations with regard to the levels of compliance that both clients and the CQC required. In addition, if that diary was lost or destroyed, it would spell disaster.
Business reputation damage and fines can result from losing even one paper record, and Central decided to explore Patient Transportation software. Will researched options, and with stringent data protection requirements a priority, he recognised the many logistical benefits. Soon the team found their solution with Apex Patient Transport Software (Apex PTS). Once a secure cloud-based service was up and running, staff could log in using company laptops at their appropriate level and from different locations, ensuring seamless transformation of information.
“Organisers need to know that they took the right actions.”
Attracting new work
For organisers of large events, reputation is everything. Nothing must go wrong, and local NHS services should not be disrupted. Demonstrating Apex PTS and its integrated Event Planning Portal has helped Central to secure jobs. Post event, Will downloads comprehensive excel spreadsheets that summarise all patient interactions and work done. Personal details are removed, leaving only the information organisers need for Safety Advisory Group meetings. “Organisers need to know that they took the right actions,” Will says. “With an electronic records based system, they’ve got peace of mind.”
“Client details are inaccessible without security clearance…”
Passion for safety and security
Will has experience with both paper and software systems and has no doubt which is most secure: “A vulnerable person’s paper details could contain their address, door safe code and hospital information. Even leaving it on the dashboard is a risk.”
In Central’s office, data protection is paramount. By using Apex PTS, Will knows who has access at all times. There’s a timestamp of events, and an audit trail. Client details are inaccessible without security clearance – and frontline staff can focus on the patient.
Event organiser demands
Central’s clients include County Councils and large organisations, with the main focus reputation and smooth event running, and not the cheapest price. They want a passworded system and secure data, and Will can assure them that Apex PTS is accredited with ISO 27001.
Apex’s Event Portal allows secure staff login to relevant records. There’s no ‘hand over’ of devices because staff only access information from their own. Neither can responders access records once the patient goes to the next stage, and Will suggests that the CQC views this as a strong positive: “They might ask if a responder can still see details of someone who’s now under the care of the nurses,” he explains. “Using the event portal software, we know that they can’t.”
“If there’s any problem at any stage, I’ve got all my data, ready to go.”
Event planning in one place
The Purple Guide ‘rationale’ is included within Apex’s event portal software. Central also uses the flexible software to add extra information into the ‘notes’ section, and upload attachments such as rotas and risk assessments. By clicking on a calendar event, patient records will appear in the left hand corner. Will can also view the medical management plan and risk assessment. “With Apex, your event data is in one place, which is more efficient and reliable,” Will asserts. “If there’s any problem at any stage, I’ve got all my data, ready to go.”
Time benefits and drug management
With no paper records, Apex PTS is a post-event reporting timesaver. Will simply downloads what he needs, easily excluding any personal details. Apex PTS also includes a drug management module, which works like an interactive stockroom. Will’s bona fide timeline of each specific drug gives him confidence. Specific drugs ‘bags’ are added, and the system displays the stock levels in each one. Will explains that if a paramedic gives out a drug, the stock list automatically updates. “With Apex PTS, I’ve got a full audit trail: a report of what’s missing, where it was used and from which pharmacist and factory it came.”
“With Apex PTS, I’ve got a full audit trail…”
Security and joint decisions
Central receives positive employee feedback, with staff reporting increased peace of mind. Once they’ve submitted their data, it doesn’t stay on their phone but gets logged into the Apex PTS main system, allowing Will to view a live stream of patients being treated. If the ‘On Call Doctor’ in control is required, they can log into the Apex PTS system to view the patient record, which improves Joint Decision security. Previously, the doctor recorded their advice and interaction on paper, which required a ‘matching up’ process during audit. “Now that doctor can document their advice straight onto the live record,” explains Will, “and my employees are fully covered.”
Staff knowledge improvement
Apex’s PTS software can be personalised, which Central has used to their advantage. Aiding accountability and best practice, Will developed forms to guide responders in specific injury situations such as ‘burns’. He programmed in the important baseline information the responder should collect, which helps with scrutiny along the audit trail and boosts staff confidence. However, transferring to a software system has not required hours of time on staff training. “It’s a ‘press to progress’ system,” says Will. “At each stage you simply press and save what has been added.”
Will’s days of trawling through paper are over, and so are common data input errors. “Apex PTS won’t let them happen,” Will says with pleasure. “I’m also saving a good ten hours a week, which frees me up for other things.”
· Adopting Apex PTS has proven to be a transformative step for Central Ambulance in achieving precise event management and patient care.
· Moving away from paper-based systems has enhanced compliance with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and client requirements, and significantly improved efficiency and security in handling sensitive patient information.
· By leveraging the secure cloud-based service, Central Ambulance's medical support team can seamlessly access and update patient records, ensuring accurate event planning and coordination. It has also streamlined post-event reporting and analysis.
· The software's drug management module, personalised electronic forms and live data streaming have further facilitated efficient decision-making and improved patient care during events.
· Overall, Apex PTS has enabled Central Ambulance to focus on delivering top-quality care and event management with utmost precision and security. Best of all, the software has allowed Central to quickly gain the trust of event organisers and win new contracts.