New O2 tech to save 1,700 days of ambulance admin time

O2 has announced a new contract with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST). The telecommunications provider will deliver a ‘suite of new technologies’ in an effort to reduce ambulance admin time and improve how digital clinical records are captured for paramedics and other frontline staff.

This move means ambulance crews should have faster turnaround times and be able to get back on the road quicker.

In fact, it’s estimated that the roll-out of this technology could crucially save the Trust around 1,700 days-worth of crew and ambulance admin time per year.

The initiative will include a new electronic patient record system, a roll-out of 4,000 iPads to frontline staff and ‘end-to-end’ support services to assist staff with smooth usage.

In addition, the new partnership’s focus should also ‘virtually eliminate’ paper records from the Trust’s ambulances – for example, during patient transfers and staff switch overs – bringing welcomed environmental benefits, as well as added security and timesaving.

The idea is that fully managed devices with forward and reverse logistics, and automatic enrolment, will be provided so that ambulance crews can use them straight away.

Stephen Bromhall, Chief Information Officer with EEAST, said of the plans: “We are delighted to be working with O2 on this project to embed innovation across our Trust for the benefit of the six million patients we serve.

“This new system will provide staff with easy-to-use, secure ways to seamlessly transfer patient notes virtually, which will help our dedicated crews get back on the road faster so they can continue to focus on delivering the best possible patient care.”

Meanwhile, Jo Bertram, O2’s Managing Director for Business, chose to highlight the “incredible work of the NHS workers” and “exceptional first response care” of ambulance staff, adding that he hopes the implementation of new technologies will “eliminate any inefficiencies”.

The partnership is reportedly worth £5.9 million over five years and is part-funded by NHSX.

O2 has also been working on providing 5G connectivity for ‘Smart Ambulances’, which could turn the vehicles into ‘remote consultation rooms’. This is tipped to reduce strain on hospitals and potentially ‘revolutionise patient diagnosis, transport and treatment’.