Ambulance paramedics trialling new technology

St John ambulance

Paramedics will soon be using a handheld electronic device that gives crews access to new tools at the touch of a button, improving their ability to provide care on the frontline.

The new system replaces the four carbon copies of paperwork currently used and means crews can forward patient information electronically to an emergency department – all while on the road. For example, ambulance crews can send photos of injuries – such as patients trapped in car accidents – to specialists for advice. In addition, in a world-first move, GPs will be sent a summary of their patients' ambulance callouts.

St John will pilot devices from mid-May 2014, followed by a phased rollout from the end of the year taking around 12 months. Wellington Free Ambulance expects to start implementing the devices following the completion of St John’s roll-out.

Ambulance services standard

The New Zealand standard for ambulance services provides a national benchmark for all ambulance providers. NZS 8156:2008 Ambulance and paramedical services covers guidelines for the provision of services that are safe and reliable, and efficient in the use of public funds and donated services.

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Published in health.