Ensuring Safer Skies

It starts with complexity. Anger is a killer Emotion. Depression is a Mental Stall. PILOTS KNOW all the critical airspeed numbers for their aircraft; but, unfortunately, most of them do not know they suffer from mental disorder to the degree that they need treatment. According to Dr. Ansa Jordaan, Chief, Aviation Medicine, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), individuals with chronic physical illness are more likely than other people to suffer from mental disorders.

 

 

This assertion is supported by industry research. Hundreds of commercial airline pilots currently flying may be clinically depressed, according to an anonymous survey of nearly 1,850 pilots conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Their survey reveals that a significant number of pilots report depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts.

ICAO Standard 1.2.4.2 also stipulates the requirement for “routine analysis of in-flight incapacitation events and medical findings during medical assessments to identify areas of increased medical risk, and continuous re-evaluation of the medical assessment process to concentrate on identified areas of increased medical risk.

It is evident from the above various facts that there is a pressing need for an efficient Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system in the aviation industry. It is required to make sure the people responsible for the safety of the eight million passengers who fly every day are in the best physical and mental state to do their jobs well. Needless to say, the aviation authorities have to ensure that pilots responsible for passengers’ safety are in the best possible state of physical and mental health.

For years now, organizations have been running largely manual, paper-based processes when evaluating and reviewing the health of aviators and pilots applying for new licenses or renewing them. This has not been ideal since it still leaves room for human error—on the part of the people doing the checkups and maintaining the health records.

As a result, there is now a digital transformation underway among members of the aviation medical community. More of them have already started to take on full-fledged EMR systems that support regulatory processes to manage their medical review processes from end to end. These systems give them full visibility into the health status of every pilot/aviator or candidate to be pilot/aviator that they are responsible for licensing.

They have done so to gain the benefits of:-

  • Having non-repetitive online processes
  • Being able to offer authorized users secure, easy and fast access to search for meaningful information and run efficient workflows as well as effective processes
  • Enabling faster turnaround on assessments and approvals of applications
  • Enhancing operational planning by empowering better-informed decision makers
  • Ultimately, minimizing air travel risks due to poor pilot/aviator health

There are already success stories of some of these organizations, which have made certain the pilots and aviators they grant licenses to are healthy enough to dispense their duties to world standards. We can share their stories with you if you like. Just write to us at info@napierhealthcare.com.

— By Giridharan Jagadeesan, Associate Product Manager, Napier Healthcare Solutions (giridharan.jagadeesan@napierhealthcare.com