PHI Aviation (PHI) – a civilian helicopter operator with a fleet of more than 200 – is known across the industry for delivering safe and reliable helicopter transportation.
Since its founding in 1949, PHI has taken on some of the most complex aviation tasks, delivering top-tier assistance to energy providers, government and military entities as well as hospitals and air medical organizations.
PHI Air Medical, a PHI company, is the leading air ambulance provider in the United States, transporting more than 30,000 patients annually and operating from over 77 bases across the country. The team strives to provide the best and most reliable medical transport service in the US while simultaneously maintaining the highest standard of safety and operational integrity.
Almost nine years ago, the company selected Web Manuals to digitize its compliance monitoring and documentation processes, after recognizing the potential benefits this could bring to critical flight missions.
We sat down with Terah Elliott (formerly “Ausbrooks”), the Project, Business Operations Manager at PHI Health to discuss how PHI Air Medical was able to streamline its documentation process with Web Manuals, supporting swift medical emergency response, ensuring patient safety and delivering efficient, quality service.
Terah says: “As one of the country’s vital air medical services, rapidly responding to medical emergencies safely is central to not only the success of our operation but the wellbeing of the community. For us, safety is the upmost priority in everything we do, and this ethos extends to our administrative processes.
“We made the decision to implement Web Manuals’ document management system in 2015. Using Web Manuals provided a way to enhance the safety of our operation, keep up to date with new regulations, and while saving critical operational time, in turn has been extremely beneficial to our mission. Eight years on, Web Manuals has become an invaluable part of all areas of the business. Having everything you need, right at your fingertips, at all times is just the best thing for our business.”
Prior to using Web Manuals, PHI’s Air Medical team relied on an abundance of physical documentation. Pilots and crew were required to keep paper copies of safety regulations, operations manuals and clinical standards onboard each aircraft in order to comply with Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) standards before and during a flight. But with each manual often exceeding hundreds of physical pages, the additional weight on the vehicle and time spent locating regulatory information made it challenging for readers to stay on top of the most up-to-date version of any given document.
With Web Manuals, PHI has incorporated all of its documents into a single tool and regulation changes can be implemented quickly and effortlessly. “Web Manuals has been game changing for us in many ways. Having everything in one place eliminated a lot of paper not only in the aircraft but also for maintenance personnel,” Terah comments.
“You don’t need to have technical expertise or be particularly tech-savvy to apprehend how the tool works. Web Manuals is easy to understand, and the app offers a fast and efficient way for our pilots, nurses and mechanics to gain access to the documents they need and continue going about their job.”
First launched in 2012, Web Manuals’ Reader App is a portable type B Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). Easily downloadable on mobile devices such as phones and tablets, the Reader App offers customers such as PHI Air Medical the flexibility to view all the necessary documents anywhere, any time.
Since the implementation of Web Manuals, PHI Air Medical has added all clinical standards, manuals and procedures into the platform and digitizing these documents has made operations a lot easier, faster and more efficient.
Terah adds, “We are a Part 135 operator which means we must adhere to a series of FAA regulated safety criteria for commercial operations. Web Manuals has allowed us to organize our compliance libraries to ensure we stay compliant.”
The Part 135 FAA guidelines are relevant to non-scheduled, commercial aircraft operations. These can include air taxi flights, private air charters, or, as in Air Medical’s case, air medical transport services.
Putting the patient first
Web Manuals’ aim is to provide effective digital document management for the entire aviation sector, affording customers the spare capacity to focus on other areas of the business.
For PHI Air Medical, this means less time spent manually sorting through safety regulations and operational manuals, and more time focusing on what is most important: the patient.
Terah adds: “As we offer medical care in our aircraft when flying patients, we must have clinical standards that outline medical procedures at hand. With Web Manuals, our nurses and paramedics can quickly search for and bring up clinical standards. They can also rapidly identify records of how much medication a patient needs or how to combine certain treatments. Everything is in one place and can be viewed with the click of a button. Once information has been identified, the team can efficiently quickly get back to providing care for the patient.
Adapting to versatile missions
The effectiveness of working with Web Manuals’ digital documentation tool proved to be incredibly beneficial to PHI Air Medical’s day-to-day operation and has enabled it to proficiently respond to medical emergencies, even at short notice.
The strengthening of the relationship between PHI Air Medical and Web Manuals, and the proven success of working with digital compliance tools, resulted in the wider PHI Aviation group making the switch to Web Manuals in January 2023.
Russ Geraldi, Director of Operations for the Americas, Web Manuals comments: “PHI Air Medical has long been a loyal customer to Web Manuals. To begin working with the wider PHI Aviation Group demonstrates the effectiveness of our product, while also highlighting the remarkable capacity the platform has in assisting a diverse range of aviation enterprises. We are proud to witness an increasing number of customers embrace innovation and adopt a digital solution.”