It’s no secret that the number one challenge most EMS managers are facing is the constant, never-ending struggle to reduce cost.
They are having to get creative to find ways to cut costs, without having an impact on productivity and employee morale, while promoting efficiency and safety at the same time.
One solution many have found effective is outfitting their ambulance fleet with asset trackers and/or video event recorder systems, but more importantly, a cloud software platform to keep all the data organized and accessible.
Using a cloud-based software, such as Digital Ally’s FleetVu Management Suite, eliminates the costly need for in-house servers and the IT personnel needed to maintain them, while also allowing for added flexibility and agility. Managers are able to access and monitor vital information via their desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or even a smartphone as long as they have an internet connection.
Storing all video and data in the cloud allows managers to quickly add and remove resources to keep pace with their fleets’ goals and objectives. They are also provided 24/7 visibility of their assets to access and assess real-time vehicle data such as mileage, speed, fuel consumption, idle time and diagnostic trouble codes. This data allows for improvement of operations and the opportunity to reduce costs by identifying costly or dangerous driver behavior.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
The cloud is a powerful tool for storing your video and data, but there are still some things to consider before utilizing it. Here are example questions to ask your potential provider:
- Where are the cloud-host servers located?
- The server location is important, as is making sure your data is hosted in multiple data centers or regions around the world. In case of local or regional outages, this will improve the uptime of your data as well as help prevent data loss. For example, Digital Ally’s FleetVu Management Suite is hosted through Amazon Web Services on several servers located throughout the United States.
- How secure are the servers?
- Server security is clearly important to make sure your data is not accessible by unauthorized users. The key is to make sure your data is encrypted, either by utilizing the server-side encryption or encrypting your data on your own before you transfer to the cloud.
- Can the vendor’s cloud grow with the business? How scalable is the software?
- It’s important to not overbuy storage as the recent trend shows data centers decline in price about 24% every year. Most plans allow you to buy more storage each year to account for an increase in data volume, or some plans, such as FleetVu, offer unlimited storage.
- What kind of backup/redundancy/disaster plan is in place? What happens when the system goes down?
- Before you commit to a vendor, you should find out how quickly you will be able to recover your data in the event of loss or disruption, as well as what the process looks like to restore your data and support time if there’s any problems. Some vendors will send you a hard drive with your data but may also charge extra for the service.
- Who has access to the data and are there any restrictions to my access? How real-time is the access?
- Your data should only be accessible by those within your company that have been given access by the top administrator, and the company providing the software solution in the event of any issues. You should, however, have an agreement with the provider that states the circumstances in which they are allowed to access your data. Access should always be real-time as long as you have an internet connection.
COMPLETE YOUR SOLUTION
While many EMS managers are focusing mainly on the software that will be storing their data, it’s also important not to overlook the hardware that will capture the data. The purpose of event recorders and asset trackers are to manage driver behavior, increase driver safety, and reduce risk. For some, an asset tracker, which tracks and monitors vehicles and driving behaviors real-time, is enough to accomplish these goals, but several are now turning to video event recorders as well.
Video event recorders, for example Digital Ally’s DVM-250 Series, are able to increase driver safety, track assets and minimize the company’s liability risk by tracking driver behaviors such as direction changes, traveled path, speed, acceleration, braking, g-force incidents, etc. and with video to accompany it. Studies have shown a reduction of motor vehicle violations and accidents by 75%, and a significant reduction of “at-risk” behaviors when video is present. While data can be very helpful after incidents, it is not always enough by itself, but paired with video, managers can see the whole story.
No matter the size of your fleet, cloud software can be scaled to fit the needs of any EMS company. From vehicle inspections to driver management to telematics and incident video review, cloud-based software paired with an asset tracker or video event recorder provides a solution every first responder needs and deserves.
For More Information:
To learn more about the cloud software platform and video event recorder mentioned in this article, please visit Digital Ally’s website.
Digital Ally specializes in state of the art, customizable video recording systems for Emergency Medical Services. Our products increase medic safety, improve driver behavior, assist with vehicle location and maintenance, as well as provides customizable tracking and reporting in one system solution. You can integrate our solutions as your system changes. Whether you start with two cameras or eight and integrate body cameras for supervisors, our products can maximize your ROI. Digital Ally helps you save lives.