New York Health System Ambulances Go Wireless

North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System made the upgrade to its 54 ambulances.


 
 

CLAUDE SOLNIK, Long Island Business | | Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Ambulances aren't the only things accelerating these days - so are their communications systems.

Relegating a reliance on radios to the past, the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System has turned its ambulances into wireless hotspots, allowing them to transfer data and be more efficient.

The Great Neck-based provider deployed equipment developed by Vancouver, Canada-based In Motion Technology in its 54 ambulances, one of the nation's larger hospital-based fleets.

The technology was tested for about six months before being going live a few weeks ago, according to the system. It replaces what the system described as overloaded radio networks for voice and data.

North Shore-LIJ said it cost only several thousand dollars per ambulance for what amounts to an emergency care revolution, allowing more rapid and complicated communication, crucial in situations where seconds matter.

"This will increase our operating efficiency on a scale we couldn't imagine," said Alan Schwalberg, the system's vice president of emergency medical services. "When you use multiple platforms, wireless and radio, it's less efficient than being on one platform. "

Schwalberg said the system will use the technology to more smoothly manage the transportation and ambulance care of 60,000 people annually.

"With this type of volume, we have tremendous logistic, technological and communications demands," Schwalberg said.

North Shore-LIJ is using In Motion's onBoard Mobile Gateway to turn each ambulance into what the system described as a "high-performance, rolling hotspot. "

Staff can tap into wireless networks securely with laptops, PDAs and other devices in and around ambulances.

"The system works all over," Schwalberg said. "It has the ability to use all different types of wireless services. We're pleased with the ability to communicate quickly with the information we need. "

He said North Shore-LIJ can more rapidly determine vehicle location and status, use global positioning and transmit medical data such as EKG results, staying connected to emergency departments.

North Shore-LIJ plans to use the technology to test iPads that could be used to communicate stroke victim information to neurologists and emergency department doctors. In stroke care even more than in most other situations, speed is crucial in effective treatment.

North Shore-LIJ also is looking into whether the technology can help streamline operations and enhance training as well as reducing response time and improving care.

"Everything is encrypted," Schwalberg said regarding privacy issues. "The transmissions are all secured. "

But this doesn't mean North Shore-LIJ is getting rid of its radios just yet. The system at least temporarily plans to retain radio equipment as a backup, although it may entirely cut the cord with that technology.

"As we go forward," Schwalberg said, "we'll determine if we're going to maintain that. "



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, software, communications, ambulance

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

NTSB investigates crash that killed four.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >