10 Useful Tips Before Choosing Long Distance Air Medical Transport
Posted on May 18, 2017
Transporting a loved one with chronic health issues or limited mobility over long distances is a major feat. Emergency medical problems and disabilities can render an individual inadequate to fend for themselves, making them medically fragile and any non-professional attempt to transport such individuals, without proper training or equipment can lead to mishaps and adverse events. Because every patient’s health requirements and medical situation may vary, finding the right long distance medical transport can seem like a bit of a daunting task.
What to consider...
Did you know that every year approximately 550,000 patients are flown to various medical facilities across the US? Out of these 400,000 are transported by rotor wings while 150,000 are flown by medical aircrafts. That’s because in the current times, moving an individual with special medical needs, under emergency or non-emergency circumstances, across a city or state via long distance medical transportation is considered the best choice as it includes proper accommodation, equipment and medical personnel who are equipped to deal with any unexpected medical situation or complications. Something which a typical vehicle and an untrained individual will not be able to provide.
There are quite a few factors that must be taken into consideration when looking for an air medical transport operator who can safely move someone close to you to a required medical destination. Not all air medical transport companies are built the same way which is why it is important to put some thought into this decision and consider these tips when choosing the best long distance medical transport company:
1. Accreditation Matters
Accreditations and certifications are your first line of defence against unprofessional and questionable air medical transport companies. There are a number of accreditations and certifications a professional long distance medical transport company will have, including CAMTS, FAA, all the way down to IAMTCS. Why does accreditation matter? Because a company is required to pass a certain set of standards set forth by the accreditation bodies before receiving an accreditation, it ensures the safety of your patient and gives you a good idea about their reputation.
2. Safety First & Always!
Your peace of mind matters the most when it comes to selecting the right air medical transport company. A well-reputable company will have no issues in offering you details regarding privacy standards, references, vehicle maintenance or emergency procedures when asked. Only the best medical transportation companies ensure that their drivers hold a clean record, are trained in first aid procedures and adhere to the privacy standards set forth by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability).
3. Patient Care & Comfort
Long distance trips can become fatiguing for the patient which is why it is imperative that companies offering long distance transportation are equipped with complete patient care necessities and medically configured aircrafts . Traveling across a state or country can prove to be an exhausting and stressful journey if not attempted with an accredited air medical transport company. Apart from professional medical care staff, the transportation aircraft provided by your chosen operator should include a comfortable hospital bed with a therapeutic mattress, on-board bathroom facility, back-up oxygen tanks, suction machines and feeding tubes etc.
4. Services Offering
Generally, the best medical transportation companies provide services to accommodate all kinds of emergency and non-emergency situations. Equipped with a team of professionals, these companies know how to deliver not only superior air medical transport services but will also provide alternative ground assistance and licensed medical escort options. At AirMed, our certified crew provides multiple levels of medical care on every single medical flight. Our aircrafts are equipped with state-of-the-art medical apparatus and neonatal equipment to ensure the highest level of clinical care.
5. Commercial Medical Escort
Not all patients who require long distance transport need patient monitoring 24/7. Some might require assistance while moving or need a particular medical administration during their journey. Based on the requirement of the patient, an air medical transport company should be able to provide a commercial medical escort in the form of a physician, nurse or a paramedic. For a worry-free transportation service, just ensure that the medical escort accompanying your patient is a licensed professional who is trained in Aeromedical medicine and critical care transport.
6. Bedside to Bedside Transportation
Even though the logistics of coordinating long distance medical transportation can be slightly complex, only a professional company will understand your need for getting every detail of the patient’s journey right. Bedside to bedside transportation services should include full service travel assistance, basic life support ambulance, ICU trained physicians or nurses, advanced life support, ambulatory services and wheelchair transport services.
7. Emergency Patient Care
How quickly a medical transport company accommodates your emergency request says a lot about the type of services they provide. Accidents can happen any time and one of the most important things you need to make sure of when choosing a long distance transport company for emergency cases is that they have a staff trained to handle such situations, understand the need for catering to requests in a timely manner and provide non-stop travel with multiple well-rested drivers, especially if the patient requires to be moved to a medical facility over a long distance.
8. Short Long Distance Transportation
Before deciding on your choice of air medical transport, ensure that the operator you are selecting provides services within your area and the selected medical destination, especially if your patient requires to be moved to a medical facility out of state or abroad. According to AAMS (The Association of Air Medical Services) the most common types of medical conditions for which air medical transport requests are made includes both trauma and non-trauma patients with issues related to pediatric, organ procurement, neuro and cardiac arrests. Certified long distance medical transport companies will be upfront about their services, providing complete patient care alongside air and ground escort services for accompanying the patient during a layover. At AirMed, we provide worldwide air medical transport services and support to our valued customers in over 150 countries and across the US.
9. Beware of Hidden Costs
Long distance medical transport costs can sometimes end up burning a huge hole in your pocket. The last thing you need is getting caught off guard by any unnecessary price fluctuations! So make sure you factor in all costs associated with the trip ahead of time to prevent any unwanted surprises. Ask the company you wish to hire for any hidden or additional costs of their services. Of course the length of your journey and the type of long distance transport service your patient requires will play a major role in the overall costs, however it is always better to secure quotes from multiple services in order to find the best air medical transport company with the highest level of experience.
10. Get Company Reviews
One last thing you can never overlook is the importance of company reviews. Always look up for customer reviews or testimonials before booking a long distance transport operator. Ask around and search online for reviews regarding their services to gain your peace of mind. You do not want to end up hiring an air medical transport team who has no experience in dealing with emergency situations or have zero understanding of critical medical care.
Not All Air Medical Transport Companies are Created Equal
When it comes to long distance transportation, a patient’s well being and safety should be the top priority for an air medical transport operator. Well-reputed and accredited companies will always ensure that their vehicles and aircrafts are staffed with trained and experienced medical personnel who are equipped to provide the highest level of comfort and patient care during the long distance transportation process while the unfit operators will question your need for asking even the most basic details regarding their services.
At AirMed, we ensure that our customers receive unparalleled medical transportation services across the globe. Whether you need long distance transportation for an elderly loved one, a physically disabled individual or a terminally ill patient, we have state-of-the-art equipment and certified medical teams to provide you a seamless service 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. As a preferred long distance medical transport service for top hospitals around the world, we have been delivering on our mission of an uncompromised standard of medical and critical patient care with a highly experienced and respected medical team in the sky.