Mass. Ambulance Company Uses Acuity Link Software to Track Patient Transportation
Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass.
Dec. 05—YARMOUTH PORT—The owners of a local private ambulance company have launched a new software company they say can provide a more efficient method for hospitals and health care providers to arrange for patient transportation.
The technology company, Acuity Link, was born out of a frustration that brothers Spero and Alex Theoharidis had as owners of Coastal Medical Transportation, a private ambulance company. To transport a patient in a non-emergency situation, staff call an ambulance company until they find one that is available, then relay the patient's vital statistics and health information over the phone.
"The way that health care institutions communicate with medical transportation and ambulance providers is extremely antiquated," said Alex Theoharidis, CEO of Acuity Link. "There's no visibility into performance and accountability. Today it takes 10 to 15 minutes, and we can cut that down by 75 percent."
The software, which would be used both by a health care provider and a responding ambulance company, allows for ambulances to be requested, scheduled and tracked via a cloud-based software program that also transmits clinical details and other pertinent information related to the call. Acuity Link also uses GPS technology to alert health care providers when the transport is responding and arriving, cutting down on the wait that can often take an hour or longer, Alex Theoharidis said.
"You can literally track a pizza from the oven to your doorstep, but you can't track your loved ones on an ambulance," said Spero Theoharidis, vice president of Acuity Link.
The increased efficiency allows health care providers to improve the utilization of beds and improves the patient experience as well, said Chief Operating Officer Michael Pieretti Jr.
"Not only does it create a shortened amount of time, but it also ensures information is captured so we can identify bottlenecks and problem areas and improve those," he said.
The technology is compliant with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, and includes "various levels of encryption" to protect patient information, according to the Acuity Link website.
The company launched in late 2015 and spent much of the next year testing the software with Coastal Medical Transportation's fleet of 25 ambulances. The software went live earlier this year with 10 customers participating in beta testing, and the company now has 10 employees on top of the 120 on staff at Coastal Medical Transportation, said Alex Theoharidis.
Nondisclosure agreements baked into most of their contracts prohibit the Acuity Link team from disclosing their clients, but they said that many, but not all, of Cape Cod's health care providers have signed on, as have many others across New England. In 2018, they plan to expand to other localities across the country and make this nascent Cape Cod company a national one.
"This is a problem we fixed in our backyard, but it doesn't just exist here. It exists everywhere," said Spero Theoharidis.