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Smartcomm rises to ambulance service challenge

James McGrath 1 October 2012
Smartcomm rises to ambulance service challenge

UK integrator Smartcomm has designed and installed AV systems UK-wide for the ambulance services, most recently upgrading a number of Great Western Ambulance Services Hazard Area Response Team facilities, as part of the “GWAS HART Gold” initiative. Videoconferencing has been predominant among the company’s installs, enabling geographically dispersed centres to communicate with each other and allowing the bases to assess emergencies quicker and help decrease response time. A special videoconferencing system installed at GWAS HART also allows connection to cameras fitted on the ambulances or members of staff, so the team back at base can follow their movements and easily assess the emergency as they arrive at the scene. Smart boards are also becoming increasingly popular for training purposes, notes Smartcomm, who point out that a particular challenge of working in the healthcare environment is that there can be no downtime – providing a challenge when installing or upgrading AV systems.  As such, installations and testing are carried out alongside the active system that is to be replaced – an operation that usually needs to be performed in tight timescales for minimum disruption to the team. Another challenge, says the company, is user training. Most medical staff are generally on standby, ready to respond to an emergency call, and it is hard to arrange sessions that all are able to attend. It is crucial that the team is able to use the equipment and so training must be persevered with by the integrator, even if this means ad hoc sessions with different members of staff. 

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