Now here's another Bloomberg technology boondoogle
A move to modernize city ambulance records has become a technical nightmare for city EMTs, who told The Post the system is leading to delays and slower response times.
The new tablet-computer-based system for recording ambulance calls has been hampered because the devices often freeze up and can’t send information when a Wi-Fi signal is unavailable, sources said.
“It’s a very weak wireless system, but the city got what they paid for,” groused one technician. “They were too cheap to pay for a stronger system.”
Instead of recording vital information about each “aided” case on paper, EMS technicians are required to enter data on the tablet. A wireless router is attached to the EMS truck and provides the Wi-Fi signal.
But when a signal can’t be found, or is weak, the ambulance crews struggle to submit the data, which is mandatory before heading off for new emergency calls.
“It’s like a cellphone,” an EMS source said. “Sometimes you lose your signal, and when that happens, you lose your information.”
One EMT recalled how he and his partner ran into tablet trouble after taking a patient suffering chest pains to Jamaica Hospital this week.
They could not move to the next call before his information was in the tablet — but the gadget was not cooperating.
“My partner was working in the ER attempting to put the info into the tablet and he lost the signal. He had to go back and re- enter the info into the tablet.
“That’s why we were extended. It delayed us big time. It took us 40 minutes from the time we got there to the time we left,” he said.
EMTs are expected to have the patient-information process completed in 20 to 25 minutes, he said.
The switch to the rugged five-pound tablets — manufactured by DRS Technologies — was announced in March and introduced at different times around the city.
Queens EMS units began using the tablets on July 8, but they had been introduced earlier — and drew complaints — in Brooklyn and on Staten Island.
The Brooklyn EMS units said the tablets have no keypads, so information has to be entered with a stylus one letter at a time, causing further delays.
We had better hope there's not another Sandy-type disaster in this city before Bloomberg goes, because the 911 system and the EMT system is not going to be able to handle it.
As I asked in an earlier piece, will this kind of Bloomberg tech boondoggle be showing up in any of the"Bloomberg legacy" pieces corporate suck up journalists like Bill Keller have been writing?