Flying Doctors reach patients faster using analytics

The Australian Flying Doctors may seem to have an exciting job, but it can also be a very stressful one. These airborne medical emergency teams often need to fly to remote places and they cannot afford to embark on the flight without the right tools and the specialists aboard.

A patient’s life can depend on how quickly they can (accurately) assess the situation and get the medical team in the air. Using analytics they have been able to reduce the response time by 3 hours for most priority 2 patients. A time saving that can mean all the difference in those life-threatening circumstances.

Adrian Bennett, Information and Technology Manager for the Western Operations Division of the RFDS (Royal Flying Doctor Service) explains how they have been able to reduce their response time so drastically; they have subdivided the process in several subprocesses, and have analyzed the relevant data for each process, to identify what factors could be changed to drive improvements. “This has led to a better shift allocation, resulting in a reduction of our tasking time from 5.5 to 2.5 hours for 90 % of all priority 2 patients.”

Bennett hopes to use analytics to further optimize the RFDS organization: “It enables us to make more evidence-based decisions on major questions such as where our investment is needed most for different types of equipment, the time and frequency patterns of incident, and the changing demographics of our patients.”