How To Choose The Right Air Medical Transport Service
Choosing the right air ambulance transport company can seem like a hrad task. There are many different differences between companies, but you just need to know what to look for or ask from the companies that you call.
If your patient is faced with needing an air medical transport from one medical facility to another, who would you turn to? How would you find the best service for their needs? There are numerous types of air medical transport companies out there, that offer all types of services and aircraft. How do you start? What questions would you ask? We hope to help take the guess work out of this, by providing you with the tools you need to find the best air medical transport service.
Brokers vs. Owners
To begin with, you want to make sure that you’re speaking with an actual licensed service provider and not with a broker. Brokers help locate an air medical transport service company for you and they don’t actually own or maintain their own medical aircraft. The licensed service provider is an owner-operator and owns their aircraft. This is very important from a safety aspect. The owner knows the history of the fleet and does the maintenance.
Who’s on board?
Who will be traveling with your patient and taking care of them is a very important consideration. You want to ask the experience level of the medical crew and flight crew. Are the flight nurses and flight paramedics experienced? Have they been properly trained and have ongoing continuing education? Have the pilots logged many hours in the planes they fly or are the new to the type of plane.
Types of aircraft?
Some air medical transport service companies use piston engine planes and some use jets. Piston planes typically don’t have long-range capabilities. They’re also small, not giving the patient, crew and family much room. They usually have limits to how high they can fly; meaning chances are they will be flying in turbulent, congested airways. They are also quite noisy. These are all considerations when you want the patient to be as comfortable as possible. Jets, on the other hand are fast, can fly long distances without stopping to refuel and have large spacious cabins.
You’ll want to make sure the company has all the latest medical equipment that is needed to take care of your patient. This includes a special air-medical stretcher, iv pumps, cardiac monitors, ventilators, medications and more.
Something else to look into is what additional services the company can provide. Are they willing work with your insurance company on your behalf? Do they offer bedside-to-bedside transports? Do they provide meals on the flights? Do they allow pets and family members on the flights? Do they allow baggage on the flights? Do they coordinate the ground transfer?
Find out about all of these things when you’re interviewing a company. A good air medical transport service company should be able to offer these services to you.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Douglass Swan, an Angel MedFlight Air Ambulance writer based in the Scottsdale, Arizona office. Angel MedFlight is a leader in worldwide air medical transportation and medical flights. To learn more about air medical services, visit Angel MedFlight and see how an air ambulance company can help you.