AV VACIS KPI is unrealistic and unsafe

Since 2015 AV have been pushing arbitrarily set KPI’s in an effort to satisfy the government. Many of the KPI’s are at the cost of staff with indirect pressures to operate unsafely. These measures are wide and varied across the organisation. To date AV has not made any attempt to understand the impact that these measures have. Over the years some operational managers have attempted to alert AV to the impact of these KPI’s but have often found that speaking up has led to them being overlooked for promotional opportunities.

Many of you who have joined AV in the last 7 years will be unaware that once upon a time AV were quite vigilant about stamping out paramedics doing the VACIS in the back of the ambulance. It is no coincidence that the messaging died down when the KPI’s became the focus. Reason being that KPI’s are seen as more important than safety concerns and AV knows that the KPI is only achievable for most if you start your VACIS en route to hospital.

In an attempt to hold AV to account for some of the pressures we have reported to WorkSafe the impact of the 20 min hospital clearing KPI. You can read below some of the details provided to Worksafe:

  • VACIS system renowned for technical issues including difficulty logging on, VACIS freezing and printing issues.
  • Staff are advised that they can make notes on case if VACIS technical delays however these delays are not reflected in the average.
  • Complex case sheets can take greater than 45 mins where there has been extensive management of the patient.
  • Staff are very aware that the case sheet is the primary source of evidence of management of the patient if the case becomes a Coroners matter or if a clinical breach is suspected.
  • Longer transfers require further management of patient and can involve 10 or more sets of observations (particular issue in rural areas).
  • Basic case sheets with no technical issues and minimal management take greater than 10 mins to complete.
  • Compliance with the 20 min KPI can be a factor in internal recruitment decisions.
  • The 20 min average is unrealistic and can only be consistently achieved if other factors are present.
  • Completing VACIS in back of ambulance is against OH&S guidelines as it is not a stable platform or appropriately designed workspace.
  • VACIS is not secured in rear of ambulance so becomes a potential 2.3 kg missile if vehicle brakes heavily or in an accident.
  • Prior to 2015 AV did some work on installing equipment in back of ambulance to make this practice safe. Staff were also instructed not to complete VACIS in ambulance. Since 2015 this messaging is effectively non-existent.


If you have experienced this pressure from managers to operate unsafely please let us know at [email protected]

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