Introduction of an AI-based patient transport dispatching software in the Integrated Regional Control Center Leipzig (IRLS)

Category: E – Health

Challenge title

Introduction of an AI-based patient transport dispatching software in the Integrated Regional Control Center Leipzig (IRLS)


What possibilities exist to digitalize the current telephone-based registration process for patient transports in the IRLS Leipzig and to optimize it with a web-based registration option in clinics and medical care facilities in order to thus significantly relieve the hotline of the qualified patient transport (19222)?

Challenge description

In the field of patient transport, unsolvable challenges and delays regularly occur because primarily mathematical problems (distances, route efficiency, etc.) are not adequately solved. These are problems of queuing theory and optimal dispatching while avoiding empty runs or optimal utilization of available resources. With experience and knowledge, these issues can be solved manually by the dispatchers of the control center, but especially in shortage situations and overload cases, errors quickly occur that throw this chain out of balance. In shortage situations, dispatching is not done correctly, rather on a first come, first serve basis.

For example, the current call acceptance rate for call number 19222 in the Leipzig IRLS is 55%. This means that 45% of the calls cannot be answered. It should be noted that not all employees in the KT (patient transport) dispatching department can only perform telephone service, there is also dispatching to be done. The answering rate cannot be improved by increasing the number of staff, as they are not infinitely available. The workstations available for this task at the Leipzig control center are also limited. The transport management of the Integrated Regional Control Center Leipzig is inadequately positioned due to the increased demand for patient transport. In addition, reductions in patient transport provision recommended by the cost units are leading to a further deterioration in patient transport availability. As a result, patients are no longer picked up on time for appointments, and the number of empty runs increases, further complicating transport planning. There is no feedback to hospitals or patients about the arrival of a KTW (patient transport) vehicle.

The integrated regional control center in Leipzig regularly reports that the available capacities in patient transport do not cover the demand of the day. A planning / overview for the dispatchers is very difficult with regard to a direct variable allocation of missions to the individual rescue vehicles. If deployments are accepted in the course of a duty shift, they are difficult to integrate into the already existing pre-planning. The utilization of the resources over a day shift in the city of Leipzig is usually 100%.

It then comes to, for example:
• increased empty runs
• the fact that it is almost impossible to “reschedule” assignments that have already been assigned to a vehicle that has become available
• Problems with medical practices, especially dialysis practices, due to long waiting times and patients not being brought in on time.
• Threats of compensation claims by practices that have to serve their patients longer, even beyond opening hours
• Requests from IRLS for additional ambulances to be put into service
• Prioritization of patient transports to be processed, primarily dialysis transports
• Daily emergency transports beyond the holding time (labor law > overtime / extra work)

Vision / Expected Result

To find the solution for the digitization of patient transport project, it is sufficient to look at other driving services. In principle, patient transport is not significantly different compared to the cab business. Customers or patients need to get from A to B in a suitable manner and should feel comfortable doing so.

Digitization of patient transport requires disruptive adoption of technology from the cab trade. It should be noted that no new mission control system may be introduced in the IRLS Leipzig. In principle, the control center works in the uniform Saxony-wide operations control system of the company Vivasecur, a familiar and proven environment, in order to be able to use synergy effects and operation transfers between the control centers. In the event of an overload, emergency calls can also be answered by the ambulance service in the control center if all call takers are busy and emergency calls are overflowing. On weekends, the patient transport area is taken over by the emergency call takers, since the volume is so low that no extra staff in the control center is profitable for the dispatching of patient transport. An optimized patient transport planning module must therefore be innovatively integrated into the existing system via an interface.

The following components are required for the solution:
• AI-based routing platform as a module, cloud-based
• Interface to the operations control system of the IRLS Leipzig
• KTW (patient transport vehicle) app for the transfer of transport data
• Web-Booker for medical facilities
• Analysis tool for resource planning and optimization
• Mobile app for patients
• Web booker for patients

The introduction of the technology is intended to optimize the use of ambulance resources with fewer empty runs. The workload of the control center will decrease due to fewer calls, and the system can be used for concentrated dispatching. The workload for the registration of ambulance transports will decrease in clinics and MVZs (medical care centres). The ambulance crews and patients are significantly more satisfied due to optimized transports. The general satisfaction in the area of patient transport will also increase the issue of working environment, working conditions and worker motivation, once the realization sets in that with the system all areas benefit – disruptive transfer of functions from the cab business (despite all fears, this continues to work). The essential resource human is significantly relieved by the introduction of technology.


Holger Groß
Leiter Informationstechnik Branddirektion Leipzig
Phone.: +49-341-1239580

Marika Plöthner
Sachgebietsleiterin Medizin und Bildung
Phone.: +49-341-1239608

Further information

Thank you for your interest in the Smart City Challenge Leipzig 2023.