Making the City Safe

Making the City Safe

Sophisticated command, control and communications capabilities integrated in GEMMA allow operations and resources to be monitored in[…]

Client: Atos
Assignment: Case Study and Presentation

(Download the case study here)

Atos Global Emergency Management (GEMMA), the solution for emergency management, helps first responders deliver on their commitment to protect citizens and keep society safe.

It coordinates the complex mix of resources and systems that make up emergency response networks and ensures they function as a single unified platform with standardized processes, optimized decision-making and unhindered information flows.

GEMMA helps emergency coordination centers prioritize calls according to specific criteria and deliver the most appropriate response based on the nature of the incident and also the geographic location. GEMMA helps staff cope not just with everyday accidents and emergencies but also major sporting or cultural events, disasters and routine non-urgent transportation tasks.

The sophisticated command, control and communications capabilities integrated in GEMMA allow operations and resources to be monitored in real-time and permit, for example, vital signs data taken at the scene of an accident to be transmitted to the waiting hospital before the patient has arrived.

GEMMA is the end-to-end solution for emergency management that optimizes resources, reduces response times and, most importantly, saves lives.

Vital coordination

Emergency services receive many calls each day and lives depend on the speed and effectiveness of their response.

Summa 112, the organization responsible for coordinating medical emergency services in the Madrid region, turned to Atos to integrate and improve its emergency management processes.

The local section of any big-city newspaper is filled with headlines like these and Madrid is no exception.

Fortunately, most incidents have a happy ending thanks to the professionalism and dedication of SUMMA 112, the organization responsible for providing medical emergency services in the Madrid region, and the Atos Global Emergency Management (GEMMA) solution.

Of the more than 1.2m calls that SUMMA handle each year — one every 30 seconds — around 60,000 fall into the emergency category and SUMMA staff know that lives may depend on how quickly and effectively they respond to these calls.

They must get accurate information from callers who are often distressed and decide in just a few seconds what priority to give the incident. They must then ensure that first responders are provided with all available information on the incident before they get to the scene.

In the case of emergency calls, the average time that elapses before a SUMMA unit reaches the scene is just 15 minutes compared to 16 minutes before GEMMA was implemented. An improvement of one minute may not sound much but it can make a critical difference when it comes to improving medical outcomes – and even save lives.

The Summa 112 control centre also manages the transportation of routine and non-urgent medical cases, and coordinates the response to major disasters such as a civilian airplane crash or terrorist attack, both of which have become tragic realities in Madrid in recent years.

Constant alert

SUMMA 112 operates Europe’s largest medical emergency coordination center, spread over 500 square meters and handling over 3,500 calls on a typical day.  It employs 230 staff and at any one time 30 operators, eight physicians, four nurses and seven coordination technicians are on duty to ensure a 24/7 response.

When someone calls the emergency number, an operator first identifies, locates and classifies the patient, and assesses whether it is an emergency, in which case resources are automatically activated.

The resource mobilization specialist then assigns the incident to a particular resource, such as a rapid response vehicle, ambulance or helicopter, and sends them an alert message.

All SUMMA emergency vehicles are equipped with a tablet PC connected by high-speed wireless connection with the coordination center.

The integration of tablet PCs is one of the most recent and innovative aspects of the GEMMA set-up, says Maria José Fernández Campos, Medical Director at SUMMA 112.

It enables first responders to view the data on the incident they have been dispatched to attend and also lets allows them to access a patient’s medical history via GEMMA’s links to the electronic health record system.

The latest enhancement to GEMMA allows first responders to transmit their assistance report as well as ECG, blood pressure and carbon monoxide readings. In this way, hospital resources can be mobilized ready for the patient’s arrival.

Optimized response

The Atos Global Emergency Management (GEMMA) solution enables SUMMA to integrate and coordinate its response to emergency calls. It provides an end-to-end solution that optimizes the use of resources, reduces response times and, most importantly, saves lives.

In an emergency, every second counts. Equally important, however, is the ability to allocate the resource most appropriate to the scale and nature of the emergency.

To solve the twin challenges of proving a timely and appropriate response, SUMMA 112 realized it had to replace its existing technology platform.

The previous system had become obsolete – it could not automatically classify the different types of emergency call, for example. In addition, SUMMA 112’s vehicle fleet had grown three times its original size and the system could not scale to handle this.

After considering rival offerings, SUMMA chose Atos’ GEMMA solution not just because of its ability to meet these demanding technical and functional requirements but also because of Atos’ proven track record in delivering complex systems integration projects in civil, national security and other mission-critical markets.

GEMMA covers all phases of emergency operations, starting with planning and preparation through alert handling and dispatching of resources, to information capture and final closure.

One of the key reasons for SUMMA 112 choosing GEMMA was its proven ability to integrate the management of complex emergency response infrastructures and provide interoperability with different agencies such as the Madrid regional health service, the ambulance service and the civil protection agency.

The SUMMA 112 command centre manages a variety of systems — data services, telephony, voice recording, private trunked radio and, for the tablets, mobile data connections — which are integrated to provide a seamless and unified infrastructure.

A high level of integration between all system components is essential to SUMMA as it ensures a smooth, secure and real-time transfer of information.

“The system allows us to automatically transmit real-time information on the incident and patient medical data to the dispatched vehicle. That’s a big improvement on the situation before where operators had to communicate dispatch data by phone and the first responders had to write it down.”

María José Fernández Campos, Medical Director at SUMMA 112.

The project

Atos professionals worked hand in hand with SUMMA staff to draw up a detailed project implementation program that would see the partners collaborate closely through all phases, from consulting and project definition through system development to adaptation and final delivery.

The project comprised these key sections:
•    Renewal of the SUMMA 112 technological infrastructure. including application servers, network electronics, IP telephony, voice recording system, client stations, radio array integrated with telephony, MCA and vehicle GPS positioning.
•    Implementation of the ATOS Global Emergency Management solution. GEMMA acts as a sophisticated and highly specialized CRM solution with command & control and decision support capabilities. Its many capabilities include:
– Reception of calls, their classification and prioritization according to SUMMA protocols, and, in the case of emergencies, the automatic resource allocation.
– Care monitoring via real-time transmission of medical data to the medical team that will attend the incident.
– Resource management to ensure that dispatched resource is most appropriate for the type of incident and geographic location.
– Graphical display integration to localize incidents and the real-time position of available resources.
– Management of hospital transfers.
•    System evolution to satisfy new requirements. For example, the management of non-urgent hospital transfers is an important facet of SUMMA’s mission and often involves private ambulance companies. The next stage of the project will thus see these private ambulances equipped with health card readers so that SUMMA’s coordination center knows the identity and health history of patients that are being carried in these routine transfers. All emergency vehicles already have this capability. Another direction for evolution is to incorporate vehicle telemetry data into the system so that coordination center will know an ambulance’s speed, the temperature of onboard medical refrigerator, whether the siren is activated and so on.

As well as designing and implementing the project, Atos is responsible for ongoing technical support. Because of the critical nature of SUMMA’s operations, Atos staff continually monitor the systems and provide round-the-clock support.

Customer Benefits

  • High-availability system designed for 24/7 operation
  • Integrated system covering all administrative, operational and management needs
  • Integrated 3-way communications combining telephony, radio and 3G data
  • Information organized and structured according to single alphanumeric data model
  • Real-time monitoring of incidents and resources. Computerized care report and automatic collection of ECG and other vital signs, which can be incorporate in patient’s medical record.
  • Flexible and scalable design allows new functionalities to be easily added

“Speed is critical, but it is just as critical that SUMMA 112 sends the correct vehicle to the scene of an incident. The functional needs of an emergency response center are far more complex than those of a conventional call center. It has to meet exacting requirements in the three key areas of command & control, decision support and communications.”

Orlando Rodríguez, head of the Civil and National Security division at Atos Spain.

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