Over 140 guests attended the 2012 Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA) Australasian Awards For Excellence Dinner held recently in Tasmania, Australia.
The awards recognize the innovative and world-leading programs and initiatives on display throughout the Australasian ambulance sector.
St John New Zealand, in association with Lightfoot Solutions and Canterbury DHB, received the prestigious CAA Star Award, the overall prize given to the most innovative and ground-breaking initiative. The “Joined up data” pilot project utilized Lightfoot’s pioneering technology—signals from noise (sfn)—to create a unique system designed to monitor and measure a patient’s journey from an emergency call through to discharge from hospital. The project sought to demonstrate the benefits of linking ambulance and hospital data to redesign pathways and improve patient care.
The pilot demonstrated clear benefits, including the ability to compare triage codes (between ambulance and hospital), the time elapsed from call to triage for patients with life-threatening conditions, and the potential to monitor the impact of changes in ambulance clinical practice on hospital admissions and patient outcomes.
The experience indicates a strong potential to extend the project to include data sharing to better manage attendances at emergency departments and acute patient admissions.
One of the award judges hailed the project as most deserving and so awesome it will be looked upon as one of the best innovations the sector has seen.
The project also scooped the Technical Capability Award for projects demonstrating excellence relating to equipment, fleet workshops, bases, communication and information systems.
St John Planning and Development Manager Andrew Slater accepted both awards on behalf of General Manager, South Island Region, David Thomas. “It’s nice to get recognition for this particular project,” said Slater.
Since his appointment in 2010, David's focus has been on improving integrated health delivery and alternative care pathways.
The four category winners for 2012 were:
- Management Practice: St John NZ, Building our Operations program, Michael Brooke.
- Clinical Capability: St John Ambulance WA, Randomised Placebo Controlled Trial of Adrenaline in Cardiac Arrest (The PACA Trial), Professor Ian Jacobs.
- Educational Performance: South Australian Ambulance Service, eBooks for Rural Volunteer Ambulance Recruits, Kerry Sutton.
- Technical Capability: St John NZ/Lightfoot Solutions/Canterbury DHB, Canterbury Pilot—Joined Up Data, Dave Thomas.
Michael Brooke, Operations Director with St John New Zealand, won the Management Practice Award for an operations plan designed to improve the service.
The Ambulance Transformation Program is a key part of the plan. The five-year undertaking, which began with a consultation process with members and health partners, revealed that current service delivery was not best practice, financially sustainable, nor meeting the needs of patients, the workforce and other stakeholders.
The Operations Plan, aligned to St John’s strategic plan, has resulted in engagement with internal and external staff and set a benchmark for the organisation’s practice of consultation and collaboration.
WA’s St John Ambulance continued the winning streak collecting the Clinical Capability Award.
The Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial of Adrenaline in Cardiac Arrest (The PACA Trial), is a world first. In collaboration with the University of Western Australia, and with funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, the trial established an evidence base to support the use of adrenaline in cardiac arrest. Despite significant setbacks during the five-year study, its findings have laid the foundations for cardiac treatments across the world. The findings have been presented to the American Heath Association Resuscitation Science Symposium in Chicago and the European Resuscitation Congress in Paris.