Case Study: Technical Consultation and Deployment Services Help EMS Teams Save Lives

For one state’s Emergency Medical Services, deploying comprehensive and consistent mobile solutions gets the job done with the help of the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK team.

Challenge: The Emergency Medical Services division of a state’s Department of Health is tasked with delivering emergency services and improving patient outcomes across the state. This role entails the state EMS division to work with and drive coordination and collaboration across multiple EMS operational hubs throughout the state.

Historically, each of the regional EMS hubs operated differently in their location, including using different mobile device solutions, which are a vital tool that the EMS units depend on for every call. Unfortunately, in many of the regional EMS units the systems in use were not dependable so teams struggled. Furthermore, the state EMS division struggled with being able to connect to the varying EMS systems to provide support when necessary.

Solution: After several consultations and working with the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK team, the state EMS department brought in Panasonic ProServices to serve as the solutions integrator to address these statewide interoperability issues with a cost-effective upgrade to their mobile solutions and to maintain the ever-evolving ecosystem of EMS mobile technology solutions. The Panasonic ProServices team designed an EMS mobile solution to deploy new rugged laptops and rugged tablets with advanced mobile connectivity, a consistent image, including software that supports HIPPA compliance and a managed deployment service process for new TOUGHBOOK mobile devices.

Results: By designing a cost-effective technology solution, and bringing a focused skill set to augment the state and local department’s IT staff, Panasonic ProServices created a consistent unifying EMS mobile technology solution and solved the issues of application and connectivity compatibility. This aligned the state and regional hub EMS operations allowing for better support of remote operations to improve patient outcomes. In addition, with enhanced protection from Panasonic’s recommended mobile device security software, the state’s Emergency Medical Services division was able to address HIPAA compliance and protect sensitive patient data.

Administering, maintaining and operating EMS teams and the technology solutions that support statewide Emergency Medical Services presented significant challenges that were unique to the state’s geography. Because of their operational hubs’ disparate locations, EMS technology practices were very diverse. The inconsistent processes meant each location was running different operating systems on their mobile devices with different applications and no system in place to allow their IT team to manage the devices remotely. These variances made monitoring field operations difficult and made ensuring patient data security and maintaining HIPAA compliance challenging.

For example, in one location, the EMS team had outdated laptops that they had ceased using as they could not rely on applications to operate as needed in the field. Without the right mobile technology support, the team resorted to paper charting for record keeping when out on an EMS run.

Meanwhile, in another region of the state, the EMS staff was equipped with capable mobile devices; however, without broadband wireless connectivity, the team resorted to hotspots housed within their ambulances, confining them to their vehicles instead of enabling them to operate with flexibility on site.

Under the leadership of the State’s department’s chief, the EMS division began to look at the complex ecosystem of challenges facing them and knew that a workaround or temporary fix to these issues would only offer short-term relief for his team’s pain points.

“When you’re in the business of saving lives, a band-aid solution is not enough. Our customer needed a trusted advisor to learn their operations comprehensively, augment their IT solutions and offer a holistic, cohesive computing solution,” said John Stewart, account manager for Panasonic, who worked with the department to revamp their mobile technology capabilities.

Beginning in June 2017, the Panasonic ProServices team was brought on board to serve as a solutions integrator and trusted partner with the specialized skillsets that the customer’s IT team needed to address their immediate issues, upgrade their mobile technology solution and maintain the ever-evolving ecosystem of solutions. Panasonic’s solutions architects served as a single point of contact, allowing the department chief’s team to contact their trusted solutions integrator directly instead of relying on impersonal customer service solutions.

“We truly learned their business as a full-service partner,” said Stewart. “We were able to work directly with their employees and become a part of their team. But each location had its own needs and motivations. We were able to successfully act as an intermediary between their various teams and worked with them as a trusted advisor – not a sales person.”

To address the challenges of inconsistent software and applications used on the mobile devices, Panasonic ProServices created master imaging infrastructure using Microsoft Deployment Tools. This allowed for a more consistent and manageable image creation process. In addition, the master imaging infrastructure solved the issues of connectivity incompatibility and ensured consistent operations and field deployment.

With TOUGHBOOK 20 2 in 1 notebooks operating across operational hubs, remote management was crucial to enable centralized control as well as more secure data capture. Panasonic ProServices assisted the department with implementing AbsoluteR, a software that supports data security and management with geo-fencing, data wiping and more. These features protect patient data and ensure HIPAA compliance by ensuring devices are being used as intended, where intended. And if a device has been misplaced or deemed unsecure, the team can remotely clear all sensitive patient data from the device.

Acting as more than a rugged mobile laptop vendor and offering full service and support as a trusted partner, Panasonic implemented a cohesive, connected computing solution that consolidated lone-wolf operations across the state. By augmenting the IT support staff with Panasonic resources, utilizing the latest IT tools, software and industry leading best practices, Panasonic was able to deliver a solution that exceeded all expectations of the EMT staff. This resulted in connecting doctors and hospital personnel to emergency staff in the field thus improving the quality of care provided to local citizens.

Learn more about Panasonic mobile technology solutions and ProServices or contact us for help with your mobility challenges.