Florida EMS Uses Optima Software to Do More with Limited Resources, Avoiding More Than $750,000 in Unnecessary Costs - Product Announcements - @ JEMS.com

Florida EMS Uses Optima Software to Do More with Limited Resources, Avoiding More Than $750,000 in Unnecessary Costs


See Optima, in Product Connect | Monday, April 26, 2010

Optima live ™ deployment and Optima predict ™ software programs are designed to help emergency medical services (EMS) dispatchers and operations personnel gain insight into ways to reduce response times and deploy ambulances and other resources more efficiently. The programs simulate and predict changes in call volume and other potential events to help place the right resources in the right area at the right time, thus improving deployment efficiency and medical care.

A complete case study can be downloaded from http://www.theoptimacorporation.com/LeeCaseStudy.

Lee County in southwestern Florida is an area that has experienced a drastic economic downturn due to slumps in real estate values and personal income. The result: some county agency budgets have been cut or frozen while being pressured to add new services to improve emergency services response times.

David Kulpanowski, Lee County Public Safety Data Analyst, commented, “The county has grown and opened up new areas that we need to provide services for. Did we need to move a facility there or open up a new facility? We really had no way to know, except by gut feeling. This is not a trivial decision. Moving an existing facility or opening a new one requires resources and time, both of which are precious commodities in great demand.”

To answer growing demand for services and make the most of their restricted budget, the county EMS and Emergency Dispatch Center was the first organization in the U.S. to deploy Optima live deployment and Optima predict simulation and optimization programs.

Lee County operations strived for a routine response time of less than nine minutes. Seasonally long offload times at hospitals, a seasonal influx of tourists and a potential hospital closure was pressuring the EMS leadership team to add more ambulances to the 32 it already maintained or to change where and how they were deployed.

Using Optima’s solutions, Lee County now makes strategic, evidence-based decisions to optimize EMS services and help the county run EMS operations with existing manpower and money. By running complex simulations and producing reports for decision makers, Optima software also helps Lee County prepare for unexpected changes in demand for services caused by one hospital’s closure, in addition to the major influx in population due to seasonal residents and vacationers, or an epidemic.

Kim Dickerson, Lee County Emergency Medical Services Chief, says “The investment in Optima software is already paying off. When faced with substantial budget cuts, we saved more than $750,000 in annual expenses by modeling ambulance service delivery with the Optima software.”

The software also enabled county EMS officials to assist another local agency to reduce 17,520 service unit hours annually, the equivalent of two 24-hour units, with no negative effect on response time performance. Meanwhile, the improvements in deployment reduced EMS call response time by more than 2.2%, even though call volume increased by more than 5%.

“Just one example of a decision that was influenced by Optima live deployment data is ambulance Medic 6, which was moved from its regular station on Bonita Grande Drive to a new location on Old U.S. 41, which allowed it to respond to a call from Imperial Harbor in just 3 minutes instead of the usual 8 to 10 minutes. We are seeing similar improvements daily.”

Recommendations made by Optima live deployment continue to be confirmed by the software modeling data and anecdotally by field and communications personnel. Chief Dickerson commented, “Now, the question being asked is, ‘Are our stations in the wrong place?’ Fortunately, Optima has a solution for that.”

About The Optima Corporation
Optima Corporation is a world-leading operations research company that delivers innovative, best-in-class optimization and simulation software solutions for the emergency services, airline and healthcare industries.

Optima was founded in 1998 by Auckland University engineering science faculty members Professor David Ryan and Dr. Andrew Mason together with graduate Dr. Paul Day. Optima's strength comes from the experience of its founders in implementing advanced operations research techniques for companies such as Air New Zealand. This experience helps to enable dramatic reductions in business costs and improvements in operational effectiveness.

Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Product Announcements, Industry News

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox


Fire EMS Blogs

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts


EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Car Strikes Manhattan Pedestrians

Seven people hurt when car jumps curb.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
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 >