Throughout the UK, air ambulance charities operate helicopters with highly skilled clinical teams, who provide emergency care and safe hospital transfers for the most serious incidents and patients in remote locations.
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is committed to continual improvement and professional development in the demanding field of pre-hospital emergency medicine (PHEM). To achieve this they record the details of every incident, including the clinicians in attendance, the specific treatments they administer and patient outcomes.
Because they were recording all their incidents on paper, it was very time-consuming to carry-out regular reviews of cases and interventions. To analyse specific types of injury or intervention, they had to manually sift through hundreds of cases.
In pre-hospital emergency medicine, doctors, paramedics and nurses have to demonstrate their skill and experience in over a hundred different areas. Each individual had to find their own way of recording the types of incident and the interventions that they had administered.
Dr Mike Eddie, a clinician at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, proposed that they create a computer database that would record the details of every incident and allow them to generate detailed reports and professional development records.
He had personal experience developing in FileMaker and worked with his colleagues to plan and create a prototype. After a period of developing and trialling his solution, another air ambulance charity asked to be involved and together they committed to investing in its development.
Because FileMaker was already working well for them and had the potential to scale and grow, they looked for a developer who was skilled with FileMaker and could interpret and realise their vision. Smart Wolf came highly recommended and were engaged to take on the project.
The team from Smart Wolf worked with Mike and his colleagues to understand their vision for the future and the capabilities that the system would require. They prepared a detailed plan with timings and costs for turning the working prototype into a scalable, secure, web-accessible system which would be suitable for a nationwide rollout.
The project was phased so the core capabilities were developed rapidly from the prototype and rolled out in about a month. Further functionality was added in two phases, firstly additional capabilities and then integrations.
The system, which is known as PHEMnet (Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine network), has four key areas of functionality: