Audrey Fraizer

Audrey Fraizer

Story Vault

By Audrey Fraizer

It takes Oren E. Rae less than two hours to do a job that takes others two to three days. It takes Rae another few minutes to step outside his office and pull up a chair next to dispatchers and calltakers, and that’s something extra time provides.

The change in Rae’s routine came in the shape of AQUA Evolution v6.0. The “one-man compliance department” for the San Francisco (Calif.) Communication Center, rates the software right up there with the way VisiCalc changed Rae’s opinion about the interactive possibilities of computers.

“It certainly affords the opportunity to talk more with dispatchers given that I’m not spending five days and upward creating the monthly reports,” said Rae, who completes anywhere from 20 to 50 reviews a day, depending on the number of distractions he is able—or unable—to avoid.

AQUA v6.0, released in January 2014, is the FedEx of speedy report delivery.

Using the previous version, AQUA v5.6, Rae would have to set aside several days to generate the more than 500 QA reports he produces each month for his comm. center.

Not anymore.

“As I do the end-of-month reports, I can simply set up the filter to choose the range, and then use the drop-down to select the protocol and individual employee,” he said. “No more having to back up and retype the employee number. It’s much more efficient.”

Tamara Haislip, PDC Technical Support supervisor, was also bowled over by the “screaming fast” report process. In fact, she enlisted Rae in a contest to see who could generate the same number of reports in the least amount of time. He was at the AQUA v5.6 starting gate, while Haislip took her position at starting gate v6.0.

“We, step-by-step, created the exact same reports, hitting ‘Next’ at the same time,” Haislip said. “Then we got to the point where it actually creates the report and Rae said, ‘Here is where it can take up to five minutes to generate.’”

At least, Haislip said, that’s what she anticipated Rae was about to say. He never made it past the word “here.” Haislip was already done.

A few more “to be sure” tests later, Rae agreed to beta test the software, making San Francisco one of nine comm. centers nationally to enlist in the two-month v6.0 beta test.

Although AQUA v6.0 cuts down Rae’s time spent in generating reports, it’s not likely the hours in his workweek will decline proportionately. He just sees it as time he can invest in projects he hasn’t had the time to pursue, let alone think about.

“I’d like to show the people on the floor more about AQUA,” said Rae, a former police officer and member of the San Francisco comm. center since 2003. “I can explain what I do so they’d understand the [QA] process isn’t so devious.”

Haislip also admits to a second favorite feature added to v6.0.

“You can open the Case List while still in the last call,” she said. “All you have to do is select the next call to the left and off you go Q’ing to your heart’s content without hardly a pause.”

Prior to v6.0, the process to review a call was multi-step: go to the Case Review sidebar, open Case List, choose the Case Number, review the case, and save the case. Then repeat the process again for the sound files.

“It was tedious, boring, and a plain waste of time,” Haislip said. “I did the happy dance for ED-Qs when I saw this one.”

What else is new, although perhaps not so time shattering, with AQUA Evolution v6.0? According to Haislip, lots.

Version 6.0 better aligns with Performance Standards 9a/4a, and a feature under Agency List allows the user to set the default version of the protocol. There are side panels for Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) and the Emergency Communication Nurse System (ECNS).

But that’s not all.

The Dispatch Life Support scoring screen separates Pre-Arrival Instructions (PAIs) from Post-Dispatch Instructions (PDIs).

“One goof in PDI won’t affect the PAI score,” she said. “That’s been a major request.”

Haislip said AQUA is an acquired taste.

“It grows on you, and once you learn all it can do, you wonder how you ever got along without it,” she said.