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Mission Critical ICT at St John NZ

Divina Paredes | Oct. 29, 2014
In his first week on the job, Martin Catterall joined the St John Clinical Control Centre staff who handle 111 emergency calls. The experience reaffirmed his decision to take on the inaugural CIO role for New Zealand's most trusted charity.

"Then we'll be dropping it and getting it wet and throwing it around to make sure it can withstand the rigours of operational life. And of course we need to complete the port of the application to the tablet and then go through significant user acceptance testing on that. In the meantime, we're rolling out the tablet itself to the ambulances."

Each ambulance will cost around $250,000 to put on the road when factoring in all the technical and specialist medical equipment, along with a crew who have trained for several years to be able to provide pre-hospital care.

"We're looking at putting wireless technology into every ambulance station, so that while the ambulance is in transit it will be using the 3G network. Then, as it drives into the station, the wireless will take over.

"It's both a cost saving and a capacity feature," he explains. "So when an ambulance gets called out, we're already downloading information to the MDT (mobile data terminal) before it even leaves the station."

Catterall says St John ambulance staff undergo comprehensive first aid and clinical training as a base requirement. Those ranked emergency medical technician (EMT) or higher have completed a national diploma in paramedicine at a tertiary institute.

"We have a population that lives off training and knowledge, and many of them are already very technically savvy," Catterall says. "We're looking at a very strong change management process to roll this out."


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