Ambulances in Norway usually only have one tablet-based PC and it is installed in the driver’s cabin, providing access to dispatch informationand map linked to the hospital’s urgent care communications center. The communication center prioritizes the need to dispatch ambulances for incoming calls to the 113emergency number.The ambulance driver receives mission critical information about the call on the tablet and can also view the location for the incoming call on the map. In the back of the ambulance, where the patients are treated, patient records are still often managed with pen and paper and so was the case for ambulances reporting to Østfold Hospital
Ambulances at Østfold hospitalincrease patient safety with electronic patient records
The Østfold hospital in Kalnes is a new and modern emergency hospital south of Oslo. The hospital, which was completed in 2015 and covers a population 300,000 people, is part of the Norwegian Government’s strategic initiative to improve the Norwegian hospital system. Since the start, the hospital has embraced innovation. For example, all patient rooms have windows with views of the surrounding landscape, and the hospital goes under the project name “Bright Views”.
Innovative thinking with focus on improving patient safety resulted in the decision to go from a traditional pen and paper-based system to an electronic, tablet-based system for patient records, accessible from the back of the ambulance. The ambulance software running on a Windows 10 tablet from Getac and was developed in close cooperation between the Østfold Hospital and the Norwegian integrator Bliksund AS. The project, which also received support from Innovation Norway, did not only result in a brand new electronic system for patient records in the ambulances, but Østfold Hospital also requested that the new system supported the hospital’s routines and requirement for simplicity and patient safety.
Optidev was responsible to deliver the healthcare approved hardware and mounting solutions.
Today, all the hospital’s ambulances are equipped with a tablet, mini-keyboard, docking station, and printer for use in the back of the ambulance. The rugged tablet from Getac is IEC 60601-1 certified for use in healthcare. It can be wiped down and sanitized and withstands drops and bumps as well as moisture. All the other equipment and mounting solutions also meet the healthcare requirements and have been built to withstand exposure to the outdoors and harsh working conditions.
The benefits from using digital patients records and tablet-based solutions are huge. It significantly improves patient safety with real-time access to patient records. Patient records are updated in real-time, replacing handwritten notes that could be hard to read and were easily be damaged or lost.
The electronic patients records software is module-based, which makes it easier to add new functions and make changes down the road.
The Østfold hospital with 20 ambulances (plus additional 10 emergency ambulances) only represents a small fraction of Norway’s approximately 500-600 ambulances by road, sea and air. Most of these ambulances still use a pen and paper-based systems. By implementing a solution such as the one at Østfold hospital, patient safety can be significantly increased for many more people in Norway.
Østfold Hospital decided to purchase all the hardware, but Optidev also offers a subscription-based model with 24-hours exchange service. Optidev already supplies the subscription-based solution to many ambulances in Sweden.
Case as PDF
- Development of a brand new software by Bliksund AS and Østfold Hospital
- Hardware delivered by Optidev, including healthcare approved Windows 10 tablets, docking stations, printers, adapters, and mounting solutions.
- Based on Windows 10
- Module-based solution for easy installation and future development
Østfold Hospital Ambulance Center
The Østfold Ambulance Center is responsible for the residents’ need for ambulance service throughout the county and handles both emergency and planned ambulance transportations. The ambulance service is provided by 20 regular ambulances, one transportation ambulance, one stroke specialized ambulance, and one response unit car.