Stretcher, bandages, oxygen and tablet computers for Philadelphia paramedics

Philadelphia’s controller says the city needs to do a much better job collecting on bills for ambulance service.  But the Fire Department says paramedics are doing a better job getting billing information from their patients. 

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says his paramedics first priority is to treat a sick patient, but they are working to collect billing information so the city can collect from insurance companies.

“We just completed training all of our members they are using a new tablet [computer] and new software to be more effective and efficient in entering all this data,” said Ayers.  “That was one of the things we used to improve the data collection process.”

Ayers says the department is working to use technology to improve its dispatching system too.

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“As we move forward with priority dispatch which we are in the process of getting,” he said.  “We will be able to prioritize the calls, screen the calls a lot better and cull some of the non-emergency calls out of our system, which should be helpful for our paramedics as well.”

The timing for implementation of the system has not been finalized.

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