Keeping with a long-held tradition of leveraging technology to enhance safety, HealthNet Aeromedical has added satellite tracking capabilities to the HealthNet III helicopter based at Cabell Huntington Hospital.
The tracking service, known as OuterLink, provides the exact location of the aircraft in a process that is updated every minute. "This is a huge step in safety for our flight team," said Clinton Burley, manager of Pre-Hospital Services at Cabell Huntington Hospital. "At any moment our communicators can see where the aircraft is positioned, along with altitude and speed. This is a strong tool that will prove to be beneficial to our patients, staff and referring agencies alike."
The OuterLink moving map is displayed on a thirty-five inch computer monitor that is mounted to the wall in the Medical Command Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital. This provides instant viewing access to the communicators. Detailed views of the aircraft location can also be accessed from any desktop computer in MedCom.
OuterLink uses a series of satellites to monitor the location of specially equipped aircraft and sends that information to the operational base via the internet.
Additional safety improvements are planned for HealthNet III in the next few months. These include an aircraft weather radar system that is delivered by satellite, a ground proximity warning system and an air traffic avoidance system.
"Safety is our most important concern every day." Burley said. "Our goal is to meet and exceed all FAA and industry standards for air medical operations."
HealthNet Aeromedical Services celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Since it inception, the system has safely transported more than 42,000 patients.