NTX Magazine Volume 4 - Page 42

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT Healthcare Moving At The Speed Of Medical Emergencies MedStar Mobile Healthcare says post-to-post approach is good medicine I 40 www.ntc-dfw.org t is an approach perfected in Vietnam by U.S. combat troops and medical teams: by strategically placing medical facilities and transportation close to the front, survival rates of injured soldiers improved. That same battle-tested idea is in service every day in Dallas/Fort Worth -- an urban jungle far from the swamps of southeast Asia but with the same high value on human life that necessitates the fastest response possible when emergencies occur. MedStar Mobile Healthcare, a leading North Texas emergency medical services provider, is employing this effective approach of the past and combining it with a new level of technology to give residents of the DFW area a fighting chance when they find themselves in a medical emergency. In a communications center in Fort Worth, a darkened room is staffed by experts in this “post-to-post” philosophy, a model now adopted by many of the 15 public utility EMS providers across the country, including MedStar Mobile Healthcare. Post-to-post uses careful modeling -- becoming more advanced every day with more sophisticated software applications -- that allows experts to identify “hotspot” locations. By looking at call volumes, MedStar Mobile Healthcare’s experts can predict -- by hour, day or week -where calls will occur in the given service area and mobilize emergency medical services and transportation to meet that predicted need. This approach leads MedStar Mobile Healthcare to station paramedics and ambulances in places like local convenience stores and gas stations, which tend to build facilities in critical, high-volume locations next to highways. Rather than just sipping sodas and stocking up on snacks, MedStar Mobile Healthcare paramedics stand at the ready to roll out when the call comes, putting them miles closer to the people who need them. Each day, MedStar Mobile Healthcare’s communication center personnel order an average of 750 post-to-post moves per day to maximize response time performance among the agency’s ambulances, which number between 20 and 42, depending on the time of day or day of week. Winter/Spring 2015 MedStar’s new ambulance. And, to accomplish this, they have to know what those volumes are going to be on any given day. Decades of response volume in MedStar Mobile Healthcare’s systems are continuously analyzed, which generates a “heat map” showing areas that have the highest predicted number of calls. Available ambulances are superimposed on the map to show where the ambulance can respond in seven minutes, taking into account current traffic patterns and flow. Though EMS call volume is relatively predictable, based on population density, time of day and day of week, the magic in the mix is knowing how to deploy resources to quickly and efficiently get to that emergency -- a strategy that MedStar Mobile Healthcare has pioneered in responding to an average of 120,000 calls per year with a 90 percent response time reliability to be at the scene of life-threatening [Y\