— Emergency technology helps fight pandemic
Beta 80 has been dealing with emergencies for more than 20 years, but the COVID-19 outbreak was an unprecedented situation. With half the planet’s population confined at home to limit the outbreak, our team of professionals is staying side by side to our Emergency Management customers, introducing extreme solutions for extreme situations: near-real time configuration of interview filters, PSAP setup in less than 24 hours, e-learning for new medical dispatchers.
The COVID-19 outbreak revolutionized the way 112 Call takers respond to emergency. An overwhelming amount of calls was received in Lombardy during the peak period of the coronavirus infection, going from 10.000 calls/day to 50.000 calls/day.
The average waiting time went from 3 seconds to 10 minutes. Beta 80 assisted our customer AREU, manager of 112 PSAPs, in adapting the interview filter of Call Takers, to improve the response times. AREU needed an advanced call screening that allowed call takers to promptly determine urgent cases and avoid slow processing. Thanks to our CAD platform flexibility and a powerful configurator interface, it took less than 6 hours to have all three 112 PSAPs in Lombardy ready with a new sophisticated tool, that gave Call Takers the power to define severity of incidents and determine possible cases of coronavirus to be forwarded to the Medical PSAP hotline. No development required, only configuration, as the software is ready to face extreme situations, like a pandemic outbreak. Thanks to this intervention on the CAD, the situation improved significantly, giving back an average call response time of 12 seconds.
Medical emergency became by far the most requested service during the COVID-19 outbreak. Medical dispatching centres suffered from overload of activities, with an enormous increase of requests for dispatches and the need to respond to non-critical cases. It was mandatory to divide cases and let medical PSAP dispatchers work on the highest priorities.
Beta 80 worked with AREU for the setup of three new PSAPs, organizing activities based on severity levels: calls were redirected to the appropriate structure, depending on the call screening. One of the PSAPs was dedicated to information and counselling about COVID-19 presumed cases, responding to a toll-free number.
This centre received up to 48.000 calls in one single day. Setting up the entire platform required to Beta 80 less than 24 for each centre: our CAD is 100% web-based and deploying extra PSAPs from a central installation has never been so easy: setting up workstations and creating user profiles is all we needed to fulfil AREU’s needs.
The division of tasks made possible by Beta 80 web-based platform, decreased the necessity of ambulance dispatch by 15% because of a more accurate incident qualification and follow-up.
With the creation in Lombardy of the new PSAPs for medical emergencies and the information PSAP responding to a toll-free number, AREU Lombardy needed to train new personnel, taken from the medical volunteers who acted as advisors, incident managers or dispatchers in these PSAPs.
With the lockdown active in the Country, Beta 80 could not deliver the usual training services, which are so critical in moments of deep crisis like these: new staff members need to be working at full regime in the shortest time possible. Our professionals re-organized resources rapidly, enabling a unique e-learning process for medical dispatchers and PSAP incident managers.
Thanks to the user-oriented CAD approach, state of the art GUI design and clear process construction, the volunteer medical staff hired by AREU was able, in just a few hours, to master the necessary instructions to run the CAD properly in the newly built PSAPs.
This virus outbreak has highlighted the need to improve the collaboration among the Emergency Services and Civil Protection, hospitals, municipalities, as well as regional and central government. Beta 80 developed a Covid-19 Management Portal to allow all authorities involved in the crisis, to cooperate using the same tools and information workflow. In this portal, all relevant stakeholders, including local authorities, provide structured data related to patients’ swab analysis; this information, protected by privacy criteria, is used for the detailed daily reports and the concours to national safety ordinances. In an outbreak scenario, Beta 80 focused on the capability of data sharing in a timely manner and highly collaborative software platform, that enables healthcare agencies to accelerate the response and the pace at which lives can be saved.
The COVID-19 management portal is the key to set up and maintain a relevant and detailed record of the mutating situation and to perform a precise public warning on TV, radio, websites, social media, dedicated apps, and SMS channels.
Beta 80 interviews Dr. Alberto Zoli, General Manager of AREU, about the extraordinary measures taken by AREU, 112 management agency in Lombardy, Italy, and the recommendations for other 112 agencies around Europe.