STARS Information Systems Study

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STARS air ambulance is a medical emergency service that provides fast medical support to the seriously ill or injured patients and handle emergencies and can also transfer patients from one medical facility to the other depending on the requirement of the patient's situation.

Summary

The Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society is a support group in Alberta formed in 1985 whose agenda is to provide quick transportation services such as professionals in clinical operations, aviation, engineering, communications, disaster preparedness and base operations for critically ill and injured patients by sending helicopters. Helicopters were the basic and important entity for the organization as it saved significant amount of time to transfer and carry out medical personnel from the hospitals to the patients. According to the CEO of STARS, Dr. Greg Powell, the entire organization was focused on a single mission for its business i.e. to find patients, take care of patients, and transport patients. The organization rapidly grew with mostly funded private donations and partnerships with community and government agencies. The organization then became large by 2007 by employing approximately 250 full and part time staff along with hundreds of volunteers having the medical profession. STARS operate a total of 9 helicopters and have 6 air bases in Canada. In 2012, the annual operating costs were $50 million and raised $27 million from lottery. In 2008, Dr. Sharaz Kahn appointed as Chief Information Officer and CEO Dr. Greg Powell was replaced by Dr. Andrea Robertson in 2012.

It’s current state of IT Governance

The STARS current state of IT Governance is simple and organizational purpose is easy i.e. to provide safe, rapid and highly specialized emergency medical transport system for the critically ill and injured. The current technical strategy STARS using is AMC (Air Medical Crew) which is always ready for the mission and staffed properly. Other one is the Emergency Link Center which is the central location for communication and works as a bridge between both the AMC and other medical professionals as well as plays a remarkable role in the organization’s business model. It ensures safety check, whether check and special medical equipment on helicopters and pilots keeps on check and communicates with other volunteers, air traffic towers along with the Emergency Link Center to keep themselves updated. In response to that, ELC informs the crew about landing zone information and builds a centralized communication hub which communicates with hospitals, AMC and ambulance services. After the completion of a mission, helicopters then brought back to the starting point for refueling, restocking and cleaning so that it would be ready for the next mission. For monitoring whether patterns, maintaining communication and providing services, STARS typically and steadily relies on Information and Communications Technology.

Challenges

There were several issues occurred in the organization that are as follows: -

  • The department are poorly organized after new Chief Information Officer got appointed which seriously hampered its ability to manage the progress of STARS.
  • Role of IS staff at STARS
  • Excessive use of consultants became undisciplined and inadequate IT project management.
  • Low quality and distributed services nature of IS staff.
  • The main problem occurred when the effect of the new CIO should take to ensure that IS department can fully support the mission of the organization and making it difficult for him to determine IT operating expenses.
  • Expensive outsourcing model.
  • Infrastructure was not properly updated as well as Kahn recognized issues regarding cutting out redundant technologies.

Recommendations

The dependence on custom improvement ought to be decreased and it ought to be dealt with to use off-the-rack arrangements. A long-haul procedure record should be made. Spotlight should be there on institutionalization and off-the-rack programming to ensure all innovation acquisition for the association could be believed to streamline the purchasing chain process. The IS department needs to be more dynamic in order to operate network and security work rather than operating reactionary mode. In spite of the fact that it is by all accounts an extremely basic business in nature and presumptions can be made that such a business could have their business forms spread out very much characterized and each division would know its activity totally, yet that appears not to be the situation in STARS and the most basic IT office does not have all around characterized jobs. Absence of consistency in framework advancement rehearses all through the association, offices had self-named venture chiefs, a circulated IS spending plan in which some individual offices bought their own PC gear and built up their very own autonomous applications. The IS division isn't given the best possible consideration that it requires. By updating outdated hardware and software systems, regular maintenance and replacement can be done easily. IT office should be rearranged so they know their activity and duty and they ought to choose alongside IS office that what gear, framework and application should be conveyed and created to work in association, so all frameworks are synchronized and can work interdepartmental with sharing of stage and there are no similarity issues in the association. Additionally, they are increasing focused edge on contenders. The IS issues should be perceived. Getting the essentials right ought to be the key, alongside enrolling key impacts, building validity, looking for contribution from the get-go in tasks, setting duty regarding IS with the business and develop organizations. Enduring relations ought to be worked with chiefs and official sheets. Changes ought to be overseen inside the financial plan. It ought to be ensured that IT lines up with business procedure by setting up an administration board to direct the IT spending and support IT anticipates. Lessen the quantity of contractual workers taking a shot at routine activities. Besides, steps ought to be taken to diminish contribution of different offices from the association to managing the IS gathering and conveying diverse demands and making their very own applications and frameworks. Finally, for the sake of avoiding costly consulting fees, allocate as much work to the STARS staff that would further help in operating expenses of the IT department.

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