Accreditation begins with an application form. The form indicates the service’s intentions to complete the process. The service then receives a Program Information Form (PIF). The PIF consists of a demographic section, a list of bases and a self-evaluation of the service, based on the CAMTS Standards. Response to the PIF self-study also requires attachments that include policies, education materials, quality management and safety processes. The PIF and attachments are submitted electronically within a year of applying for accreditation.
Once the PIF is complete and returned to the CAMTS office, it is reviewed by the CAMTS staff for completeness and sent to two Board members who will review contents for completeness and for additional questions that they document for the site surveyors. Site surveyors are then appointed, based on their experience and background related to the type of service (air/ground; fixed/rotor; critical care, ALS/BLS ground, etc.) they will visit.
The site visit is then scheduled at a time agreeable to both the service and site surveyors and at least 1 month prior to a Board of Directors meeting in order to be placed on the agenda for an accreditation decision. Once onsite the surveyors will conduct a series of interviews of personnel, look at training records, quality improvement programs, safety policies, etc. Their comments and observations are documented for the two Board members who present the program anonymously to the full Board. The programs are always presented by a six digit number – proper names and specific locations are not known by the full Board. If a Board member has a conflict of interest – he or she is excused while the program is presented and the Board deliberates.
The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) is an independent non-profit corporation, comprised of representatives from twenty member organizations, each representing some component of air and ground medical transport. Representatives to the CAMTS Board of Directors bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge in their field of expertise. The Board of Directors develops and approves standards for all levels of medical transport – both air and ground. As standards are revised, they are shared with the member organizations and medical transport professionals at large for their comments and suggestions.
Accreditation by CAMTS is granted to those programs that voluntarily apply and demonstrate substantial compliance with the CAMTS Accreditation Standards. This is done through submission of documentation as well as a site survey performed by trained CAMTS surveyors, who have a depth of medical transport knowledge and experience.
There is no single “governing body” over medEvac services. Each service is independent, or could be part of a group of similar programs. There are however, several agencies that may have licensing or over sight for medEvac services. For the aviation components, medEvac services must adhere to rules and regulations established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They are also subject to periodic inspections by the FAA.
Minimal standards for reimbursement and/or licensing could also be established by third party payers (Medicare, Medicaid, managed care organizations) or by local legislation (state, county or city laws). Most states have minimum licensing requirements for medEvac personnel and the service.
In addition, medEvac services may also follow national or regional standards. For those services that are hospital based, if the hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHCO) or other such organizations, such as the American College of Surgeons for trauma verification, the medEvac service must also meet those minimum standards.
Level 1 Trauma Centers, Tertiary Care Centers, and Specialty Hospitals.
Pilots are limited to 12 hour shifts and medical crews typically work either 12 or 24 hour shifts.
No. Pilots are charged with the safe and efficient transport of the crew and patient without regard to what is happening ” in the back”. By isolating pilots from patient involvement, they can make crucial flight decisions without influence.
Helicopters do respond to accident scene when the pre-hospital personnel’s evaluation of the patient/scene meets local air medical transport guidelines.
54% Inter-facility transports (hospital to hospital), 33% Scene response, and 13% Other (organ procurement/transport)
Trauma, medical (seizure, pulmonary, etc) spinal, burn, pediatric, replant, neonate, organ procurement, High risk OB, non-trauma neuro, and cardiac.
Physicians, Nurses, Pre-hospital personnel, Law Enforcement and any other personnel determined by state or local protocols.