Our work with medical transport providers

Across the health sector, organisations are faced with a variety of challenges around how to provide non-emergency transport to patients who rely on their services. ORH’s work is focused on optimising locations and improving scheduling systems to enable efficient service delivery.

Patient transport services

Many ambulance services operate a Patient Transport Service (PTS) program, an important service for patients who require transport to or from a health facility but do not need a time-critical emergency ambulance. ORH works with PTS providers to evaluate current provision and identify areas for efficiency in vehicle deployments, staffing or tiering.

The route planning process must strike a balance between timeliness of service and efficient utilisation of resources, which is highly dependent on the geography of the area. ORH has worked with urban and rural PTS providers to consider the maximum capacity of the system in terms of patient journeys. This involves evaluating historical data, building an appropriate simulation model of operations and assessing options for change in terms of hours of operations, vehicle types and staff numbers.

For services that operate both emergency response and non-emergency transport, ORH can assess the competing demands and evaluate options for the tiering of resources to best meet the needs of the public.

Emergency service - open doors of the ambulance car


When it comes to wider geographical areas or the transport of intensive care patients between facilities nationwide, aeromedical patient transport may be the only option available. Fixed and rotary wing aircraft incur high costs but provide a critical service – it is therefore essential to deploy these resources efficiently.

ORH has worked with aeromedical transport providers to understand the demand for the service and evaluate potential options for changes. Some of the questions we have helped to answer include:

  • How does the service balance the competing demands of scheduled journeys with short-notice requests?
  • What are the impacts on service provision of changing from daytime-only to 24/7 service?
  • How does multi-loading patients affect the timeliness of transports?

We have also evaluated the contribution that aeromedical resources can make to response and transport for emergency medical services.

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