The following has been adapted from an article published in the December 2012 edition of Government News, an independent magazine circulated to all levels of Australian government. Motorola Solutions provided the mobile data solution, which delivers a comprehensive display of all available information on the MW810 dashboard-mounted console in a paramedic’s vehicle, along with GPS-aided navigation.
SA Ambulance Service has improved digital communications for its ambulance crews to increase the amount of information they have about the patient and the incident at the scene of an emergency.
The South Australian government’s initiative to install mobile data terminals in ambulances to receive signals from a high-speed, secure, 3G mobile broadband network was to address problems in emergency radio communications.
Previously, SA Ambulance Service used paging and radio technology to relay case-related information and ambulance staff were required to use a street directory to get to incidents they were dispatched to. Now, thanks to the new mobile data terminal technology, ambulance personnel across South Australia have access to instant and detailed case-related information making their job easier and clearer. Staff also have access to additional information such as safety alerts and hospital diversions to enable better clinical decisions.
SA Ambulance Service expects that this will slash up to one minute off response times with the new technology.
The project to install and activate mobile data terminals in all ambulances in SA cost the state $6.14 million. As part of that total, the federal government has funded $2.27 million to regional areas in the state to launch a 3G mobile broadband network as part of the Digital Regional Initiative.
The mobile data terminals went live in metropolitan Adelaide in December 2012 after they had been activated across regional South Australia since September 2012.
Minister for Health and Ageing, John Hill MP said ambulance officers will have access to important clinical guidelines and detailed, real-time information about the case.
“This means paramedics will arrive on the scene of a medical emergency with information specific to the patients and the incident, helping them to make good decisions in an environment where every minute counts,” Mr Hill said. Minister for Employment Participation and Early Childhood and Childcare Kate Ellis, speaking on behalf of the Minister for Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy Stephen Conroy, said the mobile data terminals link the vehicles with the SA Ambulance Service Emergency Operations Centre.
Ms Ellis said this will give crews improved access to details of the incident as well as information including paediatric drug charts and clinical practice guidelines