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CAA Awards for Excellence

 

The Australasian Ambulance Awards for Excellence have been run by the Council of Ambulance Authorities for 15 years with the aim to recognise the hard and innovative work of member ambulance services from Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The awards are designed to encourage innovation and to enable services to share their work and learn from each other. The awards are independently judged by a panel of industry-respected judges from across the globe.

 

Information for the 2023 CAA Awards for Excellence will be available shortly. 

 

2022 CAA Awards for Excellence Photo Gallery

 

2022 CAA Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner

 

 

2022 CAA Awards for Excellence Publication

Flick through our 2022 CAA Awards for Excellence Publication to learn about the many incredible project undertaken this passed year. 

 

CAA 2022 Awards for Excellence Winners

Star Award Winner

Excellence in Technology - Ambulance Victoria

Real-Time COVID-19 Data Linkage to Inform the Pandemic Response             

 

Excellence in Technology WINNER

Ambulance Victoria: Real-Time COVID-19 Data Linkage to Inform the Pandemic Response

Finalists

NSW Ambulance: Towards Net Zero Carbon Emissions

Ambulance Victoria: Secondary Triage Work from Home 

 

Excellence in Clinical Practice WINNER

SA Ambulance Service: Clinical Hub Health Navigation Role Integration into SA Virtual Care Services

Finalists

NSW Ambulance: Spotlight on Aeromedical - part of an Integrated response to the longest prolonged National emergency in history

St John Ambulance Australia (NT): Clinical Practice Manual

 

 

Excellence in Staff Development WINNER

Ambulance Victoria: Graduate Ambulance Paramedic Improvement Program

Finalists

Ambulance Victoria: Shocktober

Ambulance Victoria: COVID-19 Surge Workforce

 

Excellence in Patient Care WINNER

St John WA: Virtual Emergency Medicine

Finalists

NSW Ambulance: Clinical Response to a Global Pandemic                                  

 

Excellence in Leadership WINNER

Queensland Ambulance Service: Crisis Leadership - A Leadership Excellence Case Study

Finalists

SA Ambulance Service: National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards Program

St John New Zealand: Double Crewing Project

 

Excellence in Mental Health & Wellbeing WINNER

NSW Ambulance: Medic Fit

Finalists

Ambulance Tasmania: 'MyPulse' Health and Wellbeing Program for Tasmanian Emergency Services Workers

Ambulance Victoria: Telemental HeaLth Pilot - TeleHELP)

CAA AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE JUDGES

Thank you to the 2022 CAA Awards for Excellence Judges  

 

Professor Vivienne Tippett PhD, OAM

Acting Head of School, School of Clinical Services, Queensland University of Technology. Fellow at QLD Academy of Arts & Science, and fellow at at Jamieson Trauma Institute, RBWH.

Professor Peter Cameron

Academic Director of the Alfred Emergency and Trauma Centre and Professor of Emergency Medicine Monash University.

Norma Lane

Clinical Governance Lead for the New Zealand Blood and Organ Donation Service.

Steve Irving

Executive Officer at the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE)

Freddy Lippert MD

Associate professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Chair of the European Emergency Medical Services and CEO of Copenhagen EMS.

Tony Ahern

Retired CEO and current board member of St John WA. Current board member of WA Primary Health Alliance.

 

Previous CAA Awards for Excellence Winners

 

2021

Star Award Winner

Queensland Ambulance Service

Stroke Prehospital Informed Decision-Making using EEG Recordings

The ‘Stroke Prehospital Informed Decision-making using Electroencephalography Recordings’ (SPIDER) study aimed to take the first step toward investigating a novel technological answer to the prehospital identification of stroke. The main objectives of the project were to investigate the ability of Electroencephalography markers to enable pre-hospital distinction between ischemic stroke cases and all other patients with neurologic symptoms, as well as to investigate distinction between large vessel versus non-large vessel ischaemic stroke cases.

 

Excellence in Technology WINNER

St John New Zealand: Using Machine Learning to Inform Helicopter Dispatch

Identifying incidents that may benefit from an air dispatch is currently a manual and time-consuming process for the St John NZ Air Desk. To improve this and support the Air Desk, a machine learning (ML) model using gradient boosting has been developed and deployed into the St John real time reporting environment. The aim of this project is to use machine learning to develop a prediction and decision support tool for Air Desk CSOs, to help quickly identify incidents from the stack that likely require a helicopter. The tool should then enable faster decision times, to dispatch helicopters to patients that need them in a timely manner. 

 

Finalists

St John Ambulance Papua New Guinea: Responder.One CAD

St John PNG partnered with Skerric, an Australian technology start-up with significant experience in CAD systems and mission critical software. The result was the implementation of Responder.One. A modern, web based, feature equivalent CAD system designed entirely within the ambulance context. Responder.One was designed to be fit for purpose, cost-effective, to provided PNG with the ability to scale as the response demand grew, would operate in the challenging technical and operational environment of PNG and was backed by a vendor who was flexible and responsive. 

 

St John Ambulance Australia (NT): SoterCoach - Addressing Workplace Injures

St John NT is the first ambulance service in Australia to apply an ergonomic safety app technology to address personal injuries in its workforce. Following an increase in musculoskeletal injuries, primarily among front line staff, St John NT introducted ScoterCoach, electronic ergonomic coaching devices designed to personalise training and improve an individual’s ergonomic safety. Evidence has shown that SoterCoach improves ergonomic safety by reducing the average number of daily hazardous movements by 30-60%, and actually reduces the risk of injury by 40% in just two weeks. 

Excellence in Clinical Practice WINNER

Queensland Ambulance Service: Stroke Prehospital Informed Decision-Making using EEG Recordings

The ‘Stroke Prehospital Informed Decision-making using Electroencephalography Recordings’ (SPIDER) study aimed to take the first step toward investigating a novel technological answer to the prehospital identification of stroke. The main objectives of the project were to investigate the ability of Electroencephalography markers to enable pre-hospital distinction between ischemic stroke cases and all other patients with neurologic symptoms, as well as to investigate distinction between large vessel versus non-large vessel ischaemic stroke cases.

 

Finalists

St John New Zealand: Ambulance Pathway Improves Outcomes for STEMI patients in New Zealand

As part of the New Zealand Out-of-Hospital STEMI Pathway, Paramedics administer clot-busting fibrinolytic therapy to patients who cannot reach a PCI-capable hospital within 90 minutes of diagnosis. The target of out-of-hospital administration of fibrinolysis by Paramedics is to reach and treat the patients within 30 minutes of ambulance arrival. The STEMI pathway has resulted in greater than 70% of all patients being transported directly to a PCI-capable hospital from the scene, which is a lifesaver for the 30% of patients that don’t reperfuse following fibrinolytic therapy, and has reduced the requirement for inter-hospital transfers.

 

St John Ambulance Australia NT: SWAB CAR - Efficient & Safe COVID Testing Method

The SWAB car initiative aimed to reduce the threat of COVID-19 transmission to healthcare workers by testing patients in their isolation environment. As a result, we aimed to create a better patient experience by avoiding an unnecessary transport to hospital or the CDC, at the same time reducing the strain on ambulance operations.

Excellence in Staff Development WINNER

St John New Zealand: 'On Demand' Online Learning Platform

The OnDemand online learning platform has been developed by St John New Zealand to provide thousands of hours of contemporary, targeted, fit-for-purpose, and varied (in topic, design, and duration) learning opportunities for all paramedics. Online learning resources can be added to an individual’s or cohort’s, ‘to do’ list, and any learning conducted on OnDemand auto-populates to the individual’s electronic portfolio of evidence providing easy tracking of continuing professional development (CPD) for professional registration maintenance. The aim of the OnDemand project is to create an intuitive, functional, dynamic, responsive online learning platform, which provides relevant, varied, and ongoing opportunities for CPD, which can be accessed 24/7 from any device.

Finalist

NSW Ambulance: Elevate Program

The Elevate leadership program fulfils NSW Ambulance’s strategic commitment to improve the leadership and management capability of its staff. The name Elevate represents the journey participants take to build leadership capability, akin to scaling a leadership ‘mountain’. Using this metaphor, participants start with Stage 1 ‘Prepare to Hike, progress to Stage 2 ‘Basecamp’ and emerge into Stage 3 ‘Summit Club’, a Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) network. 

Excellence in Patient Care WINNER

Ambulance Victoria: TelePROMPT

Telehealth Prehospital Response of Mental health and Paramedic Team (TelePROMPT) is a pre-hospital response partnering on-scene paramedics with a mental health clinician through telehealth, accessing state-wide mental health records for rapid specialist mental health assessment and triage of patients. TelePROMPT aims to better connect mental health consumers to the right care, at the right time to improve their healthcare experience and outcomes. Benefits of this program include upskilling paramedics as they work closely with mental health clinicians, and reducing the demand by hospital emergency departments.

 

Finalists

Ambulance Victoria: Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit

The Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU) is a specialised, fully-equipped Ambulance Victoria vehicle, complete with a built-in CT scanner and on-board acute stroke personnel, dedicated to providing specialised pre-hospital care to acute stroke patients (both ischaemic and intracerebral haemorrhage). The MSU aims to improve pre-hospital stroke assessment and diagnosis, reduce the time to treatment for eligible patients, improve access to comprehensive stroke centres or neurosurgical centres and provide a unique platform for world class prehospital acute stroke clinical trials. 

 

ACT Ambulance Service: Police Ambulance Clinician Early Response (PACER)

PACER (Police, Ambulance & Clinician Early Response), the project mandate was to develop a mental health coresponse capability to explore ways to better address mental health crises in ACT. First, and most important objective was to improve health outcomes and maintain the dignity for people experiencing a mental health episode. The second objective is to provide the least restrictive care, by reducing the use of restrictive measures such as emergency apprehension provisions. The third objective is to reduce demand on police, ambulance and emergency departments, along with acute inpatient services.

Excellence in Leadership WINNER

Ambulance Victoria: Social and Environmental Responsibility (Framework & Action Plan)

AV’s Social and Environmental Responsibility Framework and Action Plan takes bold steps to reduce the impact of our organisational footprint and engage our people as part of a more socially and environmentally conscious organisation. AV made a commitment to 100% renewables by 2025, the first such commitment from any Australian and New Zealand ambulance services. AV have established a pilot project currently rolling out an energy resilience test site for solar and battery storage in the Grampians. We also commenced a project to develop a net zero ambulance branch concept design to accelerate sustainability goals. 

 

Finalists

SA Ambulance Service: Implementation of the First SAAS Consumer and Community Engagement Framework

SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) developed a Consumer and Community Engagement Framework in collaboration with consumers to provide a blueprint for engagement and to improve health outcomes/service delivery for all South Australians. By engaging with a diverse range of consumers and communities including our ageing population, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrant communities and LGBTQIA+, and those with diverse health and mental health issues we hope to deliver culturally safe and meaningful services to all South Australians. 

 

St John New Zealand: Major Incident Support Teams

St John NZ maintain Major Incident (MI) caches at strategic locations across New Zealand. A framework was developed called Major Incident Support Teams (MIST) which worked to standardise training and competencies, and uniform principles of deployment to ensure a more equitable and accessible major incident support function. MIST additionally, has been working on consultation and development of training guidelines, vehicle creation, layout, and content, and deployment tools to ensure effective and timely dispatch of Major Incident resources to an expanded range of incidents. 

Excellence in Mental Health & Wellbeing WINNER

SA Ambulance Service: SAAS Mental Health Co-Response (MH-CORE)

MH CORE crews consist of a paramedic and a mental health clinician, and are tasked by SAAS to respond to low-medium acuity mental health calls to Triple Zero (000). MH CORE has been successfully helping three-quarters of patients to avoid emergency department presentations, where previously almost all of these people would have been taken to an ED. MH CORE aims to reduce unnecessary ED presentations by people with low-medium acuity mental health concerns, and keep emergency ambulances available in the community for medical response. 

 

Finalists

Ambulance Victoria: AV Peer Support Dog Program

In 2018, AV trialed the incorporation of support dogs into staff wellbeing support structures, to improving the mental health and wellbeing of its workforce. The project was expanded to regional and rural Victoria in 2019 due to the success of the pilot and the overwhelming positive feedback. The research overwhelmingly demonstrates that the dogs have a positive and meaningful impactful in the workforce. 

 

NSW Ambulance: NSW Ambulance Wellbeing Workshop Program

The NSW Ambulance Wellbeing Workshop is a dedicated development program designed to support the mental and physical health of all our employees. The objective of the workshop is to provide Paramedics, Call Takers, and nonoperational staff with simple yet powerful strategies and skills that may be implemented in their lives for an enhanced degree of health, safety, self-awareness, wellbeing and quality of life.

 

 

2019

Star Award Winner

Ambulance Victoria

Analytics Uplift Project

To better support operational managers in driving performance improvements, Ambulance Victoria developed a project to generate better strategic decision making. The project focused on three main areas – improving technology, up-skilling managers and analysts and delivering complex predictive and prescriptive analytics. The project has resulted in positive outcomes including higher levels of job satisfaction, increased in-house analytics capability and the capacity to tackle rapidly changing businesses challenges.

 

Excellence in Staff Development WINNER

Queensland Ambulance Service: Critical Care Paramedic Leadership Development Program

QAS implemented the Critical Care Paramedic Leadership Program for its team of 400 critical care paramedics. The program has worked to encourage CCPs to understand their roles as clinicians and leaders – influential positions involving mentoring and the capacity to drive positive cultural change. The learning process has been well received prompting one participant to describe the program as “by far the best professional development course I have been on.”

 

Finalist

Ambulance Victoria: Peer Support Dog

Ambulance Victoria introduced a peer support dog trial as part of its staff wellbeing programs with a range of aims, including increasing the uptake of peer support and other programs and reducing stigma around help-seeking behaviour. An overwhelming positive response to the trial has resulted in an expansion of the program across the state with three dogs and handlers in active service and a capacity to increase to 12.

NSW Ambulance: Wellbeing Workshop

NSW Ambulance designed the Wellbeing Workshop specifically for paramedics, control centre staff and volunteers. Employees reflected a similar health status to other first responder groups with poor mental health, obesity issues and low physical activity. Since the introduction of the program, more staff have sought help and registered for fitness programs, with 82 per cent saying they feel confident or “much more confident” in their ability to be well, safe and protected at work

Excellence in Leadership WINNER

SA Ambulance Service: SAAS Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

SAAS introduced its Reconciliation Acton Plan as a means to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, increase their rate of employment in its workforce and deliver equality of healthcare to make a positive contribution to Closing the Gap. The respect and trust developed through the program has been invaluable. It has enabled paramedics to provide early interventions in health care helping clients to avoid hospital treatments and empowering them to look after their own health care.

 

Finalist

Ambulance Victoria: Growing Leaders Program

To foster the leadership capabilities of a large group of junior managers, Ambulance Victoria developed a unique program that was inexpensive, flexible and easily rolled across the state. It provided participants with the skills and tools to lead, and enable their teams to deliver excellent patient-centred care. It has transformed the way AV supports and develops front-line operational leaders.

NSW Ambulance: Protected at Work: Best Practice Occupational Violence Prevention Program

NSW Ambulance developed a comprehensive program to help counter issues of occupational violence for paramedics. The program, from training to printed material and executive support, has helped build an environment of zero tolerance, replacing an acceptance of violence as being just part of the job. Some 74 percent of program participants believe they have better tools to combat violence.

 

 

Excellence in Technology WINNER

Ambulance Victoria: Analytics Uplift Project

To better support operational managers in driving performance improvements, Ambulance Victoria developed a project to generate better strategic decision making. The project focused on three main areas – improving technology, up-skilling managers and analysts and delivering complex predictive and prescriptive analytics. The project has resulted in positive outcomes including higher levels of job satisfaction, increased in-house analytics capability and the capacity to tackle rapidly changing businesses challenges.

Finalists

Queensland Ambulance Service: Electronic Ambulance Report Form Project


QAS established an Electronic Ambulance Report Form Project to develop an application to meet the needs of the QAS mobile workforce and replace an ageing, cumbersome and costly system. The ARF solution aimed to reduce the administrative downtime required to complete patient care records, allowing paramedics faster turnarounds in emergency response. The project was rolled out in 2017 to more than 3,500 users.

 

Ambulance Tasmania: ESCAD Project

The Tasmanian Emergency Services Computer Aided Dispatch Project is a multi-agency program designed to link all emergency services and improve the safety of the community and emergency service responders, using a contemporary integrated computer aided dispatch system. Senior staff from Ambulance Tasmania were involved the multi-agency development, which followed the 2013 catastrophic fires. A range of improvements have resulted including inter-agency coordination and communication.

Excellence in Clinical Performance WINNER

Ambulance Victoria: High-performance CPR - The development and implementation of a state-wide, multi-agency model in Victoria.

As part of its commitment to adopting the GRA's ten step program to improve out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, Ambulance Victoria identified two steps as  most significant for patient survival in Victoria - High performance CPR with ongoing training and quality improvement - and measuring professional resuscitation using defibrillators. The model included the appointment of a resuscitation officer, new cardiac arrest guidelines, a HP CPR education package, collaboration with state fire services and training for university students on clinical placement. 

Finalist

St John WA: Revolutionising cardiac arrest outcomes in Western Australia.

St John’s campaign to improve survival rates for out of hospital cardiac arrests began in late 2016 with the aim of achieving an additional five survivors a year, consistently, for the following five years. A state-wide high performance CPR model was introduced with the aim of improving recognition of OHCA and dispatch; increasing the numbers of AEDs in the community and introducing a community response app. In 2017, out of hospital survivors to hospital discharge increased from 113 compared with 173 in 2018.

 

 

2018

Star Award Winner

Ambulance Victoria

A clinical triage algorithm for stroke clot retrieval

A tool to detect severe forms of stroke and facilitate rapid treatment for clot retrieval was the outstanding winner of the CAA 2018 Awards For Excellence. 

Dr Henry Zhao, Principal Investigator at the Royal Melbourne Hospital & Ambulance Victoria and Professor Karen Smith from Ambulance Victoria received the Star Award for their ACT-FAST tool, a clinical triage algorithm for stroke clot retrieval. 

ACT-FAST, which also won the Clinical category, was the result of a project which aimed to create a simple and easily deployable paramedic procedure for identification of stroke patients requiring clot retrieval surgery. 

 

Technical Award WINNER

St John New Zealand: Integrated Clinical Analytics System

Integrated clinical analytics aim to support safe and patient-centric health care. This project was linked to the introduction of electronic patient report forms which enabled the service to capture, measure and code patient information for more than 500,000 incidents a year.

 

Finalist

 

St John New Zealand: Hub and Spoke Modelling

The hub and spoke model allows for more efficient and cost-effective delivery of services using low cost “spokes”, moveable response locations rather than traditional fixed stations. The model ensures ambulances can be in the right place at the right time.

Management Award: JOINT WINNERS

SA Ambulance Service: Fatigue Risk Management System

SA Ambulance Service resolved to align fatigue management with contemporary research and best practice which lead to the introduction of a new 24/7 rosters allowing staff to monitor their own fatigue levels. The new system has resulted in a significant reduction in fatigue-related reports.

NSW Ambulance: Made Ready Model

The two main components of the model – environmental cleaning of ambulances and a new methodology for supply chain management of consumable items – is a first for any Australian ambulance service and has helped achieve the same efficiencies realised in hospitals – and quality assurance comparable to the airline industry.

Finalist

SA Ambulance Service: The Royal Adelaide Hospital Clinical Move


SAAS led one of Australia’s largest and most complex hospital moves with the opening of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital in 2017. The service delivered the safe and efficient relocation of 297 patients to the new hospital with no impacts on normal activity during a period of unprecedented demand.

Education Award WINNER

St John New Zealand: Electronic Portfolio of Evidence

St John New Zealand created an electronic portfolio of evidence - ePOE - to put paramedics in the driving seat of their own clinical maintenance and education. It is an opportunity to ensure paramedics are both responsible for their own CPD and engaged in reflective practice.

Finalist

Ambulance Victoria: Establishment of an Aboriginal First Responder Team

Members for the First Response Team at Lake Tyers (Bung Yarnda) Aboriginal Trust in Gippsland, Victoria, were recruited from the community to “bridge the gap” and pilot culturally sensitive primary emergency response, reduce barriers to care and improve employment opportunities.

Clinical Award WINNER

Ambulance Victoria & RMH: ACT-FAST: a clinical triage algorithm for stroke clot retrieval

ACT-FAST is a unique tool to detect patients with the most severe form of stroke and triage them to appropriate treatment more easily and quickly. The project aimed to create a simple and easily deployable paramedic procedure for identification of stroke patients requiring clot retrieval surgery.

Finalist

St John WA: Sublingual Ketamine analgesia use by volunteer ambulance officers

The trial of “Wafermine” by volunteer ambulance officers, aims to establish the training requirements, logistics, safety and clinical effectiveness of a novel analgesic agent for use in rural and regional areas. It is believed to be the first use of this type of medication in the pre-hospital sector.