Sumner County EMS is the 9-1-1 service for all of Sumner County, one of the largest counties in Tennessee, serving more than 150,000 residents. With 13 ALS ambulances and six BLS units in service, Sumner County EMS employs 125 people and maintains an "A" rated service mark, the highest rating Tennessee awards for public services.
With a rapidly growing service area, Sumner County's technology team began moving the organization from paper to electronic forms in order to improve process efficiencies and productivity. In an effort to replace its initial solution--a non-PC software application built specifically for small handheld devices--Sumner County turned to an integrated software solution for both EMS and public safety. With offerings for both in-house billing management and mobile field service, Sumner County's technology team needed a new hardware solution that would enable them to fully leverage all of the benefits of the selected software.
A Complete Mobile Solution
Michael Cook, Sumner County's IT manager, was in charge of selecting the device that would provide full support for its software, survive the daily stresses of the EMS environment and meet all necessary national compliances. With experience as both an EMS technician and a technology manager, Cook knew he needed a robust computing device with a rugged and portable design that could withstand the rigors of harsh environments.
Cook had tried several other solutions but none seemed to fit the bill until he looked into the rugged Motion F5 Tablet PC. The solid design tailored to highly mobile users that often compute in harsh environments impressed him from the very beginning.
"We looked at a lot of different rugged computing devices that just didn't meet our needs. Either they had too many moving parts, which are guaranteed to break in this environment, or they were too small to enable full utilization of the new software solution. When I saw the fully sealed design of the F5 with the virtual keyboard and integrated handle I knew this was the right device for our environment," says Cook.
Cook was also intrigued by the integrated features of the F5. After doing his research, he realized that for the same price as the other rugged PCs, he could get a fully rugged device with useful integrated features such as a Barcode scanner, RFID reader, fingerprint scanner and digital camera.
Cook worked with John Hill of Allegiance Tablet PC Experts, a Motion reseller partner and expert in tablet PC solutions. In business for over six years, Allegiance focuses solely on helping customers like Sumner County EMS develop, purchase and implement tablet PC technologies designed to improve productivity and profitability. Cook arranged a demo of the F5 and, shortly after, was convinced that it was the right tool for the job.
Technology in Action
After making the decision, Sumner County EMS purchased 25 F5s for its fleet of ambulances and has found that the devices are even more capable than he first imagined.
Together with the new software the F5s are being used daily by providers in the field to:
- Facilitate a streamlined data collection process to quickly produce accurate and complete electronic patient care reports
- Provide valuable patient history to onsite emergency care givers (allergies, medications, existing conditions, etc.)
- Generate patient data and gather information to immediately begin the billing process
- Forward patient information to receiving hospitals to ensure patients receive treatment as quickly as possible.
The rugged tablet PCs offer a host of technologies that help personnel. When an emergency call comes in and the vehicle is dispatched, the driver can access GPS directly on the tablet to help guide them to the scene. Additionally, with ambulances equipped with full wireless capabilities, the tablets function as complete mobile offices, and with Doppler radar and traffic updates available on all tablet PCs, drivers are aware of conditions that could interrupt emergency response times.