Ambulance Victoria (AV) has come out best in the Technology category at the annual Council of Ambulance Authorities Awards for Excellence.
The winning submission examined how AV improved ambulance resource allocation and performance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
AV Director of Research and Evaluation Dr Ziad Nehme said the research provided an evidence-based framework for the prioritisation of emergency ambulances.
“The initiative was associated with a near 30 per cent increase in low acuity patients being referred to alternative service providers, while critically ill patients were more likely to receive a timely response,” Dr Nehme said.
“The framework has resulted in hundreds of thousands of patients being safely referred to more appropriate care during the Triple Zero (000) call.”
The winning project, ‘2021 Clinical response Model: An evidence-based approach to improve ambulance resource allocation and response performance during the COVID-19 pandemic’, was developed in response to challenges associated with the easing of pandemic restrictions in 2021.
As a result, AV reviewed its Clinical Response Model and emergency response dispatch grid and found a high volume of low acuity patients could be diverted to Secondary Triage to help increase availability of ambulances for emergencies.
Chief Executive of the Council of Ambulance Authorities David Waters praised AV for its innovative research.
“This initiative by Ambulance Victoria shows how understanding what other services are doing, assessing local data and keeping patient outcomes at the front of any planning can lead to a safe, replicable outcome to help meet demand,” Mr Waters said.
The winning project is easily transferrable into ambulance services internationally, supporting the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Council of Ambulance Authorities Awards for Excellence received more than fifty submissions across six categories, with AV also being finalists for:
Excellence in Patient Care: ‘Ambulance Victoria’s Residential Aged Care Enhanced Response (RACER)’
Excellence in Mental Health & Wellbeing: ‘Ambulance Victoria Mental Health & Wellbeing Action Plan 2022-2025’