From Bed to Plane: Ground Transportation During an Air Ambulance Trip
When does an air ambulance trip begin? Some people might assume it starts when the patient arrives at the airport or when the plane takes off. But that's not really the case. At MedFlight911, our air ambulance trips typically start when a member of our medical crew arrives at the patient's current location to begin the process of preparing them for their journey. That commitment to door-to-door service is a crucial part of our service for patients and their families.
Why does door-to-door service (or bedside-to-bedside service, as it's sometimes called) matter? Because we believe our responsibility for a patient in our care begins the minute they leave their current location. We know that our air ambulance passengers typically have serious health concerns and are often being discharged from a medical facility like a hospital or nursing home. We could rely on someone else to manage the transfer from the hospital to the airport, but we just don't think that's safe or smart. There is comfort having direct information/communication from the discharging facility to pass along to the receiving facility.
Instead, we meet the patient at their current location, whether it's the hospital or their home. This allows us to get to know the patient and assess their condition, identify potential problems, communicate with their current care team, and answer any questions. Then, we transfer the patient to the ground ambulance and depart for the airport. Once we arrive at the airport, we'll transfer the patient to the air ambulance and we'll be ready for the next stage of the journey – the flight itself.
Once the air ambulance lands, we continue our commitment to door-to-door service. MedFlight911 will coordinate a ground transfer to the patient's final destination, whether that's another hospital, nursing home, or their own home. Again, members of our team will transfer the patient to the ground ambulance, travel with them, make sure they are settled, and communicate any issues or concerns to their new medical team. This approach certainly takes more time on our end, but it's important because it allows us to coordinate ever aspect of a patient's care until he or she is safe at the receiving facility. It also ensures continuity of care and reduces the risk of medical errors or other problems.
Not every air medical transport company offers true door-to-door service. But we feel strongly that this superior level of care produces better outcomes for our patients. From the moment they are picked up at the discharging facility, the MedFlight911 crew takes total responsibility for the patient. It's our job to make sure that they arrive at their ultimate destination in the same – or better – condition than when they left.