The Royal Flying Doctor Service, a charitable aeromedical services provider in Australia, now has a single source of truth for all its data following its move from a paper-based to a cloud-powered EHR system.

WHAT IT DOES

The organisation tapped Oracle in early 2022 to develop its EHR system. Based on the Oracle Autonomous Database, the RFDS EHR allows doctors, nurses, and paramedics to digitally record and share in real-time critical medical information of patients, whether they are on air or on the ground, with care teams on the field, back at base, across operation centres, and with other healthcare providers. 

Aside from presenting real-time trends, the system has built-in safety alerts on allergies and early signs of deterioration, as well as guidelines around patient risk factors and medication dosages.  

Through Oracle Integration Cloud, a fleet of APIs is also interconnected with the Oracle Autonomous Database, allowing RFDS branches across the country to transmit data securely across state borders and with national entities, including hospitals and the Australian Digital Health Agency. 

WHY IT MATTERS

One of the largest aeromedical organisations in the world, the RFDS provides primary healthcare and 24-hour emergency services in rural and remote Australia. 

Performing about a thousand patient interactions a day, this organisation previously made huge efforts to maintain and update its database. It heavily relied on pen and paper to track patients’ conditions and kept patient data on a disparate, standalone record management system, which made it time-consuming to compile and prone to duplication. 

“Before the EHR, crews were committing all of this information on paper, which took more time and was more likely to have errors or be difficult to read. Now, our crews can spend more time with the patient rather than with paperwork, building upon the high-quality standard of care the RFDS provides,” said Dr Mardi Steere, EHR clinical lead at RFDS.

The Oracle cloud-based EHR system now helps streamline their clinical information collection and analysis, reducing administrative workloads and bringing down data management costs by 20%, it claimed. 

It also enables life-saving decisions to be made even before the air ambulance lands by allowing RFDS crews to share live patient statistics via mobile device with the receiving team on the ground.

Moreover, the system runs on Oracle GoldenGate to create a digital twin of data for offline use. This allows doctors in far-flung communities to retrieve the latest patient information on their devices without an internet connection. 

Made compatible with every state and territory health system, the RFDS EHR is now live in South Australia, the Northern Territory, and New South Wales. A go-live is also set for Queensland in the coming weeks. 

Additionally, RFDS is using Oracle Business Intelligence to monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of its assets.

THE LARGER TREND

Another aeromedical service provider, New Zealand Air Ambulance, also recently took the initiative to enhance its care coordination. It just rolled out Celo Health’s messaging platform – an application already in use by some of its third-party partners – to have secure, real-time communication.

Meanwhile, the Australian Defence Force, which has been enhancing its digital health capabilities, has recently handed Alcidion an additional contract to help expand access to critical medical information and health records to more ADF sites, including the Deployed and Strategic Aeromedical Evacuation settings.

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