Auckland HEMS not bailing out!

The team at Auckland HEMS were somewhat surprised to see this story in the media on Monday:

Flying doctors struggle to find funding

Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Karekare

Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Karekare

The Auckland HEMS project was originally a two year pilot conducted between Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust and Auckland District Health Board. Recently a proposal has been signed off to continue the project for another 3 years.

The Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust has released a press statement following the story above:

Auckland HEMS project secure

Dr Chris Denny, Medical Director of Auckland HEMS and Emergency Medicine Specialist, has the following to say: Click HERE

The report referenced in the TVNZ clip regarding rotary wing medical services in New South Wales is HERE

What do you think is the best staffing model for helicopter emergency medical systems? Feel free to contribute to the discussion using the comments section below.


Brian Burns: Trauma before and beyond the hospital – from SMACC 2013

From the SMACC 2013 conference – this podcast is Dr Brian Burns (Greater Sydney Area HEMS) speaking about managing trauma patients in extremis and in extreme conditions

Click HERE for the podcast (right click to save)

Accompanying slides:

Click here for Brian Burns (@HawkmoonHEMS) on twitter

Click here for Brian Burns (@HawkmoonHEMS) on twitter

Analysing communication errors in an air medical transport service

The importance of effective communication

The importance of effective communication

A recent study published in the May-June 2013 edition of Air Medical Journal analyzed a randomly selected group of quality assurance reports looking for communication errors. Quality assurance reports examined had been submitted in circumstances of issues, adverse events, or simply high risk activities (for example patient requiring intubation, or scene times exceeding 20 minutes)

Of 278 reports analysed, 58 (21%) were found to involve communication errors. Communication errors were categorised according to Clark’s Communication Level Hierarchy:

Level 1: CHANNEL – establishing a means of communication between people – e.g verbal communication, digital communication

Level 2: SIGNAL – the transmitted data, for example the sound in a verbal communication or the text in a digital communication

Level 3: INTENTION – the semantic meaning derived from the content within the data

Level 4: CONVERSATION – the joint activitiy that is understood between people communication (e.g. shared mental model)

Of 65 communication errors found (from 58 reports), less than a third had been identified by staff as communication errors. Communication errors occurred most commonly at level 1 (42/64) followed by level 4 (21/64). Level 2 and 3 failures were rare.

The most common communication issue was failure to communicate change in plan or status.

The authors concluded that current quality and safety reporting systems may lack the sensitivity to identify communication errors, and that improvements to the ontology of quality and safety reporting systems, user interfaces, and staff education on reporting of communication errors could enhance the safety of air medical transport services.

Read the full article HERE (secure area limited to ADHB staff only – ADHB has subscription access to this journal via the Philson Library at the University of Auckland School of Medicine)

With thanks to Russell Clarke