Power To Save: Cutting Paperwork Keeps Life Flight in the Air

GEISINGER MEDICAL CENTER -- Geisinger Life Flight helicopter crews are usually called upon to help save lives. Now, those crews are using the power to save to help save money and improve efficiency.

Life Flight helicopters require regular maintenance and inspections and that all takes place at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville.

Within the past four months, Life Flight mechanics switched over to an electronic signature system.

"Instead of pushing paper, we're turning wrenches, like we like to say, and getting the aircraft back in the air quicker," said maintenance director Jeff Gazey.

The electronic signature system allows mechanics to skip a lot of time-wasting steps that don't have anything to do with the safety of the helicopter.

"We would print it, sign it, scan it, then it was saved to a network drive," Gazey said.

Gazey estimates that $10,000 in office supplies and 2,200 man-hours will be saved annually with the new system. Those hours can be spent in the shop rather than the office which helps keep pilots in the air.

"It took a lot longer to fill out the paper and get the signatures and all that stuff. Then once you got back to base, you would have to forward that paperwork into maintenance. Things don't get lost now. The return to service is a lot quicker," said pilot Christopher Royles.

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