Home Business IT Business Intelligence SAS deployment halves RFDS response times

SAS deployment halves RFDS response times

Deployment of SAS analytics software is facilitating a dramatic reduction in patient response times by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) to remote locations across Australia.

According to Adrian Bennett, the Information and Technology manager at the RFDS Western Operations division, the times to assess a patient’s needs and then reach the remote location have been reduced from five-and-a-half hours down to two-and-a-half hours.

Bennett says SAS has helped break down the process into different stages and look at how all the data points relate to identify where time improvements could be made.

“We were able to look at all the factors that impact on efficiency at each stage and by optimising our crew shift allocations, we were able to reduce tasking time from five-and-a-half hours down to two-and-a-half hours for 90% of priority 2 patients.”  

According to Bennett, faster response times to calls for urgent medical attention could mean all the difference for those in life-threatening circumstances. “Response has to be 24x7 and involves assessing the remote patient’s needs, scheduling doctors, nurses, flight crews, aircraft and other resources, and then tasking the flight itself, often to a destination at great distance.”

In addition to incident response times, Bennett says SAS is being applied generally within RFDS Western Operations.

“SAS has allowed us to gain a better understanding of our data. 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 incidents, and the changing demographics of our patients.”

David Bowie, Managing Director of SAS Australia and New Zealand, said, “What RFDS has been able to achieve with their small team is inspiring, and I’m proud that SAS been a contributor in helping them improve healthcare and emergency services for Australians in remote locations.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).