Richmond Ambulance Authority Wins 2012 Virginia Healthcare Innovators Award

RICHMOND, Va., June 12, 2012 — The Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) has won the 2012 Virginia Healthcare Innovators Award in Patient Care: 1–250 Employees category.

The Healthcare Innovators Awards recognize Virginia organizations that have developed innovative ways to improve healthcare quality and efficiency. 

Chip Decker, CEO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority, said, “Our operational mission is to deliver world-class EMS and by seeking and developing innovation globally, we can deliver it locally. We constantly remind ourselves that it is not our emergency but the patients’ and to receive this award is testimony to my whole staff for their dedication to innovation, operational excellence and pursuit of great clinical outcomes.”

RAA’s reputation as an innovator in EMS stems from exceptional response times and clinical excellence in the field. In the field of cardiac arrest survival, RAA’s medics have been at the heart of cutting-edge developments. The use of Autopulse, a mechanical CPR device that provides the appropriate amount and quality of cardiac compression, has enhanced survivability considerably. RAA also administers cold saline intravenously as soon as possible during ongoing resuscitation. This procedure induces therapeutic hypothermia and, in simple terms, cools the body to preserve neurological function, followed by rapid transport to the hospital.

Other innovative steps taken by RAA include using historical data to predict when and where the next 9-1-1 call is going to occur. Ambulances are strategically deployed around the city to minimize response times.

“RAA’s electronic Patient Care Report (ePCR) system allows us to analyze call data to ensure RAA is delivering the best clinical care resulting in positive patient outcomes,” explained Decker.

In addition, RAA has started equipping ambulances with roof-top mounted solar panels. These panels use “green energy” to support and maintain the electrical charge of the sophisticated equipment used in life support. This reduces the overall engine idle time and fuel consumption; providing an environmentally friendly fleet. The ‘Solar Project’, as it is known, was the subject of national interest in 2011, as data analysis of the new vehicles revealed significant fuel savings.

“Per capita, RAA is one of the busiest ambulance services in the United States and we constantly strive to improve all aspects of our operation while delivering some of the fastest response times in the country,” continued Decker. “RAA’s true innovation is our ability to combine the latest technology and equipment into one package for the purpose of quick response times and a high patient survival rate.”

About the Richmond Ambulance Authority
In 1991, the Richmond City Council and the City Manager implemented an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system that placed the patient first and guaranteed its performance to the City's residents.  Today, the Richmond Ambulance Authority responds to approximately 135 calls per day and transports, on average, 110 patients per day.  RAA’s emergency response times are among the fastest in the nation with ambulances on the scene of life threatening emergencies in less than 8 minutes and 59 seconds in more than 90% of all responses.  RAA is one of only 11 EMS agencies in the United States accredited by both the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services and the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch.  RAA is also a Commonwealth of Virginia Accredited Dispatch Center.

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