EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE TEAM (EMAT)
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Optimizing logistics and workflow for Syrian refugees landing in Canada

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Need

With an ever-connected global community, there are both opportunities and risks. While wars and famines spillover boundaries, humanity and innovation can equally transcend borders.

Canada, as a first amongst nations, made a pledge to welcome 25,000 refugees from conflict-torn Syria to settle into our communities and begin a new life safe from persecution. From the moment the refugees set foot onto Canadian soil, Canada was committed to ensuring that our new citizens could call this their new home, a place that is understanding of their unique needs, and where they feel comfortable to access a high quality of healthcare foundational to beginning a new chapter in life.

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Our Service

In anticipation of the arrival of Syrian refugees at the Toronto Pearson Airport, Ontario’s Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) sought our expertise to plan an optimal workflow for their logistical healthcare operations. This included aid in planning the refugee flow from airplanes to inside the airport terminal, setting up temporary medical stations and informational signage at strategic points, and being ready to respond to any changes or emergencies. Throughout, the plan was customized to adapt to the needs of our new citizens.

We also designed and mapped out a strategic step-by-step procedure that guided EMAT members and served as an intuitive training document to prepare any new personnel being onboarded to aid in the refugee assistance operations. By gathering the objectives, requirements, and vision for the event, we outlined the required information into a consumable format that’s easily comprehended and scalabable for future operations.

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Requirements for the operation were extremely fluid and would often shift multiple times even in the same day, requiring the teams involved to be highly flexible and creative in their problem-solving approaches.

Justin Kirkey, Associate Director, UX Design

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Results

EMAT continued to employ the workflow plan throughout their team member training and operational planning. When the first plane carrying Syrian refugees touched down into Canada, the workflow was set in motion. Canada’s welcome to their new citizens was a resounding success and sent a positive message to the rest of the world.

Looking towards the future, by understanding how to plan for the fluidity, we are now better equipped to respond to urgent, yet ever-evolving, healthcare needs here at home, and beyond.

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