The Weeneebayko Area Health Authority Paramedic Service (WAHA-PS) serves the predominantly First Nations communities along the James Bay Coast in Northern Ontario.

With a combined population of more than 16,000, the five communities can’t be reached by road from other parts of Canada. They rely on rail and air transport throughout most of the year. For a brief window of time in winter, an ice road connects to Highway 11, allowing for light traffic access.

Ambulance in rural area in front of the northern lights, aurora borealis

The isolation brings a unique and valued way of life for people that live in the area. For the paramedic service, it can mean logistical and operational challenges.

“We often deal with severe weather conditions and limited access to the outside world,” says Jeff Gunner, Director of Paramedic Services at WAHA-PS. “Interdev Technologies has provided our staff with critical support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so we can do the same for communities we serve.”

WAHA-PS has a staff of about 60 paramedics working in the First Nation communities of Attawapiskat, Fort Albany, Kashechewan, Moose Factory and the municipality of Moosonee. They all depend on fast, accurate information and effective communication, which is why they turned to Interdev Technologies software for help in improving their operations.

A solution to every problem

To date, WAHA-PS has installed four Interdev Technologies solutions: iMedic and its Analytics package, mDocs, and Certn. The suite helps the paramedic service reduce human error and access an extensive range of critical information for evidence-based decision making.

“They have become vital assets in streamlining our services for paramedics and [facilitating] reports to management, ministerial and government bodies,” Gunner explains. “The use of this software means little is left to chance.”

The electronic Patient Care Record (ePCR) forms in iMedic are designed to replicate paper documents, making them easy to use and avoid duplication. The ePCRs also provide drop-down menus with lists of medications and prompts for protocol and documentation standards. The switch from paper to electronic forms was simple for all staff, regardless of their proficiency with computers.

“Previously, if a chief or CEO asked us to investigate a call, it would have taken at least a few hours or days to access the patient care record,” Gunner says. With iMedic, WAHA-PS staff can have patient records at their fingertips within minutes.

Interdev Technologies has provided our staff with critical support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so we can do the same for communities we serve.

Jeff Gunner Director of Paramedic Services

Analytics is built into iMedic to provide relevant data for planning and informed decision-making around community resourcing.

“With access to accurate data at our fingertips, our people are better-equipped to make the calculated decisions that are crucial to running a high-performing emergency service,” Gunner says. “It offers staff peace of mind and gives managers the data to keep their people safe.”

Access to concise, up-to-date data also informs clinical reviews between management and clinicians. This enables better feedback, improved training and education, and ultimately excellent service.

The paramedic service also made use of mDocs, a medical record management software. It helps WAHA-PS create user-friendly documents suited to each environment and provides an easy-to-monitor fast tracking system.

“In the past, it was harder to move paperwork, whether it was vehicle or equipment malfunction or hazard reporting, through the organization,” Gunner explains. “mDocs allows us to do this quickly. We can track where the paperwork is in the approvals line, from the supervisor to up the chain of command.”

Lastly, Certn allows WAHA-PS to stay ahead of schedule with all their training and certification needs. The software automatically notifies staff when a certification is about to expire and sends a notification to supervisors at an appropriate time.

“[Before Certn], it was painstakingly difficult to keep track of the numerous certifications and credentials for each employee and ensure they are all up to date,” Gunner says. “The program has helped our service get through provincial service reviews effortlessly.”

Integration and added perks

In general, the Interdev Technologies suite comes with a host of efficiencies and user-friendly features.

“We particularly value the ability to be able to store data easily if we cannot connect to Wi-Fi – for example, on some of our remote call-outs where there is no internet access,” Gunner notes. “The design of the Interdev system means we can upload efficiently as soon as we are reconnected.”

The integrated suite of services also helps them coordinate and prepare for ministerial reviews. WAHA-PS is subject to reviews by various provincial organizations throughout the year, which often meant spending weeks going through all their paper files to prepare.

WAHA paramedics stand in front of two ambulance trucks talking

“Now, with the connected programs, we can prepare and send this information ahead of time and they don’t have to ask for it,” Gunner adds.

WAHA-PS strives to deliver optimum healthcare to its remote communities. With help from Interdev Technologies, the paramedic service can focus on caring and supporting the people who need their help in emergencies and good times alike.