The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Telematics Case Study: Timely Transport of Patients

ProTransport-1 operates a fleet of more than 120 vehicles, including ambulances, wheelchair vans, gurney vans, and an ambulatory services town car.

June 2013, by Shelley Mika

Photo via ProTransport-1.
Photo via ProTransport-1.

Founded in 2000 by former San Francisco Bay Area paramedics Elena Whorton and Mike Sechrist, ProTransport-1 is one of the largest privately owned ambulance companies in California and is one of the state's top emergency transport providers.

The Fleet: ProTransport-1 operates a fleet of more than 120 vehicles, including ambulances, wheelchair vans, gurney vans, and an ambulatory services town car.

The Challenge: With an innovative and thoughtful approach to medical transport, ProTransport-1 provides vehicles that place the patient's needs above all else while still focusing on time and cost efficiency.

So when it seemed that unnecessary paperwork and inefficient systems were interfering with a smooth operational process, ProTransport-1 looked for a solution that would eliminate the clutter. The need for more data connectivity, less of a paper-centric process, and a better way to track vehicle performance data led ProTransport-1 to a "Connected Ambulance" telematics solution.

The Solution: ProTransport-1 worked with its wireless network and telematics providers to develop and implement an innovative Connected Ambulance solution.

Using a ruggedized, embedded communications gateway for connecting mobile equipment to its fleet units, ProTransport-1 was able to consolidate all network connectivity into a single platform by integrating a cellular radio, GPS receiver, firewall, high-speed processor, and a Wi-Fi access point all in one device.

With the device installed, the vehicle and all its network-enabled devices are automatically connected when the vehicle is started.

When the ambulance is turned on, the device is active, and any network device connected can access the wireless network. Equipped ambulances have almost instant connection to ProTransport-1 facilities, databases and staff in Northern and Central California.

By creating a "mobile office" through the Connected Ambulance solution, ProTransport-1 vehicles connect computers, devices, scanners, and printers, eliminating many of the previous connectivity problems.

This solution also allows ProTransport-1 to perform functions such as track each time the emergency lights are activated to a Code 3, disable the ignition system remotely to prevent theft, and look at vehicle performance data such as fuel consumption. And in critical situations, Connected Ambulance can collect a patient's vital signs and wirelessly transmit them to emergency room doctors while the ambulance is in transit.

The Results: The elimination of a lengthy paper process and poor mobile and data connectivity helped ProTransport-1 continue to provide quality service to its patients. The connected solution helps ProTransport-1 coordinate in-field resources and provides real-time access to critical applications, such as patient information systems and medical diagnostics.

A virtual "mobile office" provides cost-savings and increases an ambulance's efficiency to support ProTransport-1's bottom line, so paramedics and medical staff can focus on what matters most: the patient.

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