Dashboards Prove More Customizable Than Custom-Built System for NY EMS Chief

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When Mike Hoskins came onboard as the new chief of Perinton Ambulance in New York last year, one of his first goals was to help the company utilize its data to the best of its ability—which meant implementing a data display system.

Hoskins chose Digital Dashboards by First Arriving to fulfill the organization’s needs. “I think in a modern business, having real, live data and communications that are dynamic—that change with whatever software systems you’re using–is really valuable,” he says. “Being able to display the status of our vehicles, crew assignments, even connecting with our Facebook page, helps consolidate that information and make it useful to our staff.”

The paramedic-level 911 service covers a suburban population of about 45,000 residents over 35 square miles. It has about 70 employees who operate out of a single station, and last year answered just under 4,500 calls.

Hoskins initiated the implementation soon after taking his position at Perinton last year, having already done his research. The previous company where he worked had developed its own dashboard that would pull information from a county-based website and allowed supervisors to add announcements. It was helpful but limited, Hoskins says.

“Around that time, I had been googling, thinking surely somebody has an off-the-shelf product that does this, and I stumbled across First Arriving,” he says. Hoskins saw that First Arriving could integrate all the data platforms the company used, rather than a single website, making it more customizable than a custom-built product. When Hoskins came to Perinton he pulled the trigger, he says, placing dashboards in multiple offices and common spaces for maximum visibility. Though he checked his options, no other dashboard company captured quite what Hoskins was looking for or had the level of specialized experience.

“I Think What Appealed Most About First Arriving Is That It Really Focused On The Public Safety Sector, Which Has Different Challenges And Different Needs Than Other Businesses,” Hoskins Says.

He also found the monthly price right for the equipment and ongoing support. His previous company didn’t pay a monthly support fee for their custom-built product, but did have to pay their developer every time they requested a change. “So in the long run, it becomes more cost-effective to use First Arriving,” he says.

“What I like the most is that we can update it in real time using Google Sheets, for instance,” Hoskins says. “The vast integrations is the other part.”

Perinton’s most popular integration is Bryx 911. “When we get a call, it interrupts our normal dashboard and will display the call data for that period of time,” he says. “Staff love that. The idea that it’s waiting in the background, and then it interrupts–that is such a cool feature.”

Hoskins also worked with First Arriving to include information from their emsCharts patient care record system. “That’s the bulk of our data and the bulk of our operation that we do,” he says. “It’s got a trove of information that’s very difficult to get out of that system and to display in some sort of meaningful way.”

The company has also integrated their scheduling software, Facebook, calendar and weather, and has their eye on some other features they may add in the future. Hoskins foresees an ongoing evolution in how Perinton uses the system.

“I’m always continuing to look for ways that we can leverage this,” he says. “So any time there’s new integrations and new features, we’re all about it, and we’re going to continue to look at ways to make this useful for our staff.”

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