By deploying Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, the Ambulance Service of New South Wales has speeded filing of field situation reports from as much as half an hour to just three minutes. It has also improved file management and collaboration, and will provide cost-effective training for annual staff recertification. It plans to use improved broadcasting capabilities in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, saving significant costs in training and travel.
From Sydney to Newcastle and from Wollongong to Wagga Wagga, the people in Australia’s most populous state depend on the Ambulance Service of New South Wales (Ambulance) for high quality clinical care and health transport services. Ambulance prides itself on its high standards for clinical training and the specialist skills of its operational and corporate staff.
To improve its already world-class service, Ambulance decided it wanted to boost efficiency in two key areas—helping emergency medical paramedics fill out and send situation reports faster and speeding up and reducing the cost of clinical training. The motivation is patient safety: The faster that paramedics can send forms, for example, the sooner medical staff can process them. And the faster the staff can finish a class, the more patients they can serve. Solution
In August 2009, Ambulance began testing an early release of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 to determine if the software would address the organization’s goals. IT staff focused on the
||By rolling out Office 2010, we’re empowering our people to do their jobs better and save time. Getting a chance to use the newest technology is a great motivator for our organization.
Acting Director, Counter Disaster Unit,Ambulance Service of New South Wales
interoperability of Microsoft InfoPath 2010 information-gathering program, the OneNote 2010 note-taking program, the Outlook 2010 messaging and collaboration client, the PowerPoint 2010 presentation graphics program, and SharePoint Workspace 2010. After positive test result, the organization began a pilot of 35 users in February 2010. John Calluy, Senior Support Analyst, Technology Support at the Ambulance Service of New South Wales was impressed by the easy installation: “For the initial pilot, we took a low-tech approach—simple memory sticks containing an installation package created by Microsoft Services, and a Key Management Service system for activation. It was quick, effective, and installers required no special expertise.”
The Office 2010 deployment at Ambulance NSW will proceed manually throughout 2010. However Ambulance plans to upgrade its network infrastructure and implement Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, at which point Ambulance will roll out Office 2010 to all its 4,000 computers across 280 sites, along with a full rollout of the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system. Benefits
By deploying Office 2010, Ambulance will enjoy the following benefits:
Minimal IT Support, High Usability
Although Ambulance plans a more automated Office 2010 deployment in 2011, the memory-stick method is already saving time and money. Calluy says, “We can do 10 or 15 installations an hour because they require so little intervention—just start them and click an OK button a couple of times. For previous versions, we were able to do only about 4 an hour. It also means our technicians can spend more time on our upcoming upgrade projects.”
The pilot also demonstrated that Office 2010 requires little IT support for users. “First, I saw few bugs in the early release. It’s very stable,” Calluy says. “Second, we save helpdesk time because the interface is very clean and easy to learn, much like Windows 7, and many popular features are intuitive.” The features he says users especially like include the less cluttered inboxes with conversation threading in Outlook 2010, improved graphing in Excel 2010, rich animation and video embedding capabilities in PowerPoint 2010, and easy editing in InfoPath 2010 forms and OneNote 2010 notebooks.Faster, More-Automated Field Tasks
Calluy explains the importance of switching from paper to electronic situation reports: “For an ambulance service, time is of the essence. It can be the difference between life and death. In Office 2010 trials, paramedics were able to use InfoPath—without consulting instructions—to fill out forms, click a Complete button, and have the forms immediately sent to the appropriate servers and staff—all within two or three minutes. Before, it could have taken up to half an hour to manually fill out and fax them.”
Rosemary Hegner, Acting Director, Counter Disaster Unit at the Ambulance Service of New South Wales, adds, “By rolling out Office 2010, we’re empowering our people to do their jobs better and save time. Getting a chance to use the newest technology is a great motivator for our organization.”Rapid, Cost-Effective Job Training
Paramedics must receive clinical recertification every 12 months, so efficient training is critical. Hegner says, “With PowerPoint 2010, we can create professional-looking training animations and embed our own videos without having to pay a third party to produce the whole presentation. We can also use PowerPoint broadcasting capabilities to distribute these materials remotely in real time and use SharePoint Workspace to manage them.”
Solid Foundation for Future Enhancements
After full deployment, Ambulance will consider automating more offices with InfoPath forms and SharePoint Workspace. Longer term, it wants to upgrade to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 as part of a highly automated enterprise-wide electronic records system. Calluy says, “We’ve only just begun looking at SharePoint Server 2010, but its rich functionality and tight Office 2010 integration are impressive.”
Sandy Nelson, Assistant Manager, Technology Support Services at the Ambulance Service of New South Wales, notes that users and managers often ask him if big deployment projects are worth the effort. He concludes, “Office 2010 is easier to use, as all the programs integrate seamlessly and have a similar appearance in the toolbars across all programs. When people see how great the usability and training experience has been so far for us, the rest of our users and departments will say, ‘We want it!’”
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