Wednesday, 12. April 2023

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Deutsches Rotes Kreuz: Bodensee-Oberschwaben Rescue Service dispatches with OPHEO

Hamburg/Weingarten, 04/12/2023 – The rescue service Bodensee-Oberschwaben of the German Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz – Rettungsdienst Bodensee-Oberschwaben gGmbH) will plan its qualified patient transports with the transport management system OPHEO in the future. The new system is intended to improve quality and minimize empty runs, waiting times, CO2 emissions and costs. In addition to the software licences, the contract now signed, also includes subsequent support within the framework of a maintenance agreement.

OPHEO combines route planning, route optimization and telematics in a transport management and dispatching system that has so far been used primarily in truck dispatching. Now it is being adapted for passenger transport for the first time. The conversion at Rettungsdienst Bodensee-Oberschwaben gGmbH is to be completed in cooperation with Opheo Solutions GmbH in the 4th quarter of this year.

Dispatching of 30 ambulance vehicles

The rescue division of Bodensee-Oberschwaben controls 30 ambulance vehicles. With these, the service carries out around 250 transport orders daily in the predominantly rural regions of the three districts of Lake Constance, Sigmaringen and Ravensburg. The planning is done by three dispatchers. So far, they are only supported by a telematics system that displays the live GPS vehicle positions.

OPHEO will use the existing telematics solution and the tablet devices assigned to the vehicles, eliminating additional investments during the changeover. Using the live GPS data, the system calculates the extent to which the planned tours match the actual route. “OPHEO will not only support our dispatchers in planning optimized tours, but also warn them at an early stage if there are deviations from the plan,” explains Managing Director Volker Geier.

Early reaction now possible in the event of deviations from the plan

Deviations from the plan occur not only in the case of traffic jams or accidents, but above all due to patients not being ready for departure and the associated waiting times. The resulting delays in subsequent transports in turn create callbacks in the control center, which leads to a considerable amount of work. With the help of OPHEO’s intelligent algorithms for predictive planning, the Bodensee-Oberschwaben rescue service can now react early and efficiently to impending delays, adapting the live route planning for all vehicles to the new circumstances.

The revised tour and order data is then be sent directly from the OPHEO dispatch cockpit to the vehicles’ tablets at the push of a button. The same applies to the additional patient transport orders that arrive during the course of the day: These are automatically assigned by OPHEO to the most suitable vehicle and sent. This not only reduces delays, but also the number of empty runs, which currently stands at 54 per cent. In addition, OPHEO monitors compliance with working and break times, which now calculated in all planning.

Beginning test operations at the end of the summer

For the drivers of the 30 patient transport vehicles, the software introduction will not change their working practices. Instead, they will enjoy tours planned and controlled more efficiently. They will continue to receive their orders via their device and will be supported by the integrated navigation when driving to the next patient. At the end of the summer, OPHEO is to go into test operation at the DRK. The start of productive operation is planned for the 4th quarter of this year.

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(title image: DRK-BOS)