Health and Aviation Online

Date published

30 May 2018

Recording patient medical data through a paper-based system is now a thing of the past for RFDS (Queensland Section.

Until recently, this has been the main method for recording patient data until research conducted by the RFDS Health Informatics Team estimated that the use of the paper-based method of information capture resulted in a 30% error rate and up to 40-hours of manual data reconciliation per-base, per-week.

In the past, the RFDS (Queensland Section) had sought to digitise this process numerous times however, the market had not yet offered a solution that addressed the unique challenges that the aeromedical environment poses.

Trent Dean RFDS with Jordan Duffy

Given the criticality of sensitive patient medical records, RFDS needed to ensure information redundancy in an environment where internet connectivity was either restricted or completely non-existent. This technological challenge, combined with a lack of suitable hardware, made the task of digital transformation unattainable – until recently.

The Flying Doctor sought out entrepreneurs Jordan Duffy and Alex Buckham whose team worked to design a system that loads patient data – encrypted to comply with privacy regulations and to prevent personal data from being hacked – from a database to tablet devices used by doctors and nurses on location.

The results was Health and Aviation Online (H.A.L.O.), a cross-platform Electronic Medical Record (EMR) application specifically tailored to RFDS’ unique environment. It allows clinical staff to create digital patient health records with minimal friction while they provide in-flight medical support to patients in need.

The system also allows the medical professionals and support staff to monitor a patient’s progress in real-time, and for that information to be passed to paramedics or hospital staff once the patient reaches their destination.