Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance works with families and healthcare providers to safely transport patients from anywhere in the world for the life-changing care they need. Being able to successfully transfer a patient during a medical emergency can make the biggest difference in a clinical outcome. For the team at Angel MedFlight, every second, every interaction, and every communication impact their ability to meet the needs of patients in critical situations around the world. The company embarks on thousands of missions picking up patients, providing expert medical care in the air, and transferring patients to a hospital best suited to provide an optimal patient outcome.
At the heart of every Angel MedFlight mission is the patient. “We’re going to do whatever it takes to ensure patients have the best possible outcome. That means we need our employees to have the right technology at their fingertips at all times,” says Paul Green, chief information officer at Angel MedFlight. With an eye toward innovation and a focus on technological excellence, Green’s team began engaging with internal stakeholders to discover how technology could drive faster responses and better outcomes.
“For us, time is key. Every moment counts,” says Green. “If something slows down the process of getting a flight in the air, it’s an obstacle that we can’t afford.”
The team identified inefficiencies in its digital content storage system and its mission-critical mobile application. They began exploring the potential for directly integrating two technologies they felt were vital to their business: Salesforce and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Angel MedFlight uses Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud (Enterprise Edition). In 2016, the Angel MedFlight team began developing a new and improved version of MedLog, the company’s custom iPad application used by their clinicians to medically chart and capture information while transporting a patient. MedLog pulls in data from the ground that’s uploaded through Salesforce. While developing the application, the team also decided to explore new storage solutions for its digital content in Salesforce.
“Salesforce is critical for our business. It’s integral to our company’s operations and our ability to track information,” says Green. “Originally, employees uploaded attachments to Salesforce directly and used Salesforce to store digital content. We wanted to optimize the benefits of using Salesforce for its broader CRM capabilities by incorporating a new storage solution that complements Salesforce’s technology and integrates directly with Salesforce via a custom application we’ve built.”
After exploring different options, the team chose to build an application within Salesforce to directly integrate to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for digital content storage. “Given its strong security posture and the ability to architect for HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) compliance on the platform, AWS was the clear choice for us,” says Green.
“Our goal was to maintain our associates’ familiar workflow to ensure easy adaptability, which was essential given how critical timing is for our business,” says Green. “Our employees were used to uploading attachments directly to Salesforce the same way for years. Changing the procedure would have created too steep of a learning curve and slowed the process. We wanted to build a solution that emulates the current user experience but provides users more tagging options and optimized storage using S3 on the backend.”
By building a custom application on Salesforce to integrate directly to Amazon S3 for storage, Angel MedFlight’s IT team kept a consistent end-user experience in place. End users of Salesforce continue to upload digital content and attachments as they always have, but now, the attachments go directly into Amazon S3 where they’re easily taggable, searchable, manageable, and accessible from the custom iPad application built for employees in the field. Angel MedFlight’s storage solution is hosted on the AWS GovCloud (US) and works with its Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud instances.
All in-house employees (such as flight coordinators and office workers) upload attachments of patient records, flight itineraries, and other pertinent patient information to Salesforce.
Angel MedFlight’s custom application built within Salesforce directly integrates with Amazon S3 via an API and pulls all uploaded data immediately into AWS. Employees can edit, replace, or delete attachments and records in Salesforce depending on their role and permissions.
Clinicians in the field use MedLog, a custom iPad application, to download information and do all medical charting during the flight. Before the flight, clinicians download information so that they can chart and review medical records while they’re in the air.
When the flight lands, clinicians can upload the medical chart to Salesforce.
Following the upload, all of the data on the iPad is deleted, per HIPAA-compliance requirements. “We’re able to stay HIPAA compliant while ensuring that authorized employees have access to patient data when needed due to the direct integration with AWS via an API,” says Green.
“What we’ve designed makes the end user’s experience better. The combination of cloud-based Salesforce, AWS, and an iPad application is simple, yet extremely powerful. Our solution is robust and hands-off. Having a hands-off solution is what every IT department wants.”
Taking advantage of the synergies of Salesforce and AWS technologies has enabled Angel MedFlight to focus on its digital transformation and improve user experiences. By integrating Salesforce directly with Amazon S3 for digital content uploads via a custom application, Angel MedFlight streamlined a cumbersome process and improved user workflow without fundamentally changing how employees use Salesforce.
“Using Salesforce, we turned an awesome idea into an amazing product that saves time for all of our employees,” says Green. “We’re always looking for opportunities to improve and offer our clinicians new technology so that they can provide greater care for our patients. The simplicity of our solution, its ease of use, functionality, and cost-effectiveness make it a much better and more viable solution than what we had previously implemented. What we’re able to accomplish as a small team speaks to what companies like AWS provide for us. With the flexibility of AWS, we developed this custom solution quickly and effectively. Seeing our solution in action, and its impact on our employees, is awe-inspiring for us.”
For the Angel MedFlight team, approaching technology with curiosity and a forward-thinking philosophy is key to helping the company fulfill its ultimate goal of putting the patient first. “We want every case manager in every hospital across the country to know that Angel MedFlight is here to provide safe, seamless transfers for their patients,” says Green. “That’s our goal: to always be there when they need us.”
Learn about digital content storage on AWS.