In response to increasing demand, Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) has rolled out a new “high-tech” fleet of ambulances.
These non-emergency vehicles will be used to move patients between HMC hospitals and also transport those with mobility issues from their homes to clinical appointments.
To enhance the patient experience, the ambulances are equipped with medical technology, as well as USB charging ports, WiFi and refrigerators, HMC said.
In a statement, Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari said:
“The life-saving nature of the Ambulance Service’s emergency response teams is well documented, but less well known is the role that the non- emergency teams fulfill.”
Demand for HMC’s non-emergency services has been rising in recent years.
The provider now responds to more than 200,000 emergency calls annually, and also manages over 50,000 non-emergency transfers of patients, it said.
Last year, nearly 2 million (1,943,653) 999 calls were made in Qatar, 90 percent of which were not for actual emergencies.
It is unclear if this new fleet, which is equipped with a management system that can triage vehicles, would be used for some of these cases.
The vehicles will also make use of HMC’s new electronic patient records system, which was rolled out earlier this year.
Digitizing records helps to reduce the possibility of transcription errors and give doctors more time with patients, officials previously said.
However, during the transition some patients complained of hours-long waits, though this has improved over the past few months.
Currently, paramedics have been using it to send information directly to the hospital while en route with patients.
According to Thomas Reimann, executive director of the Healthcare Coordination Service:
“Then, on arrival at the hospital, the receiving nurse is able to scan the barcode on the electronic patient clinical record and the patient’s data is automatically added to the Clinical Information System. The end result of these new technologies is a more efficient and effective service for our patients.”