Case Managers, Prepare for Flu Season
It's that time. Every year, as fall turns to winter, the out-of-state license plates appear on Arizona roads—the snowbirds have arrived in town! At MedFlight911, we also see that influx of new seasonal residents as a sign that flu season has arrived, and with it, an increase in the demand for worldwide air ambulance services.
In Arizona and other sunny states that see an influx of part-time residents in the winter months, flu season can present unique challenges for health care workers, from urgent care centers and hospital ERs to air ambulance crews and case managers. Our Arizona snowbirds tend to be elderly, which means that they're more susceptible to the flu, and if they do get sick, their symptoms tend to be more severe (especially if they have another medical condition). Plus, these seasonal residents often don't have a local doctor, which means they turn to emergency services for care. That, in turn, leads to ambulance delays, crowded hospitals, and overworked case managers who are struggling to line up either ground transport (perhaps via a medical motor coach) or air medical transport so that people can get home to their families and primary care doctors.
If you're a case manager, this flood of patients can quickly become overwhelming. We know that in some cases, the workload can be double or triple the volume of the summer months (after all, it's a busier time for us at MedFlight911 air ambulance as well). To manage the increased demand for medical transport, it's smart to be prepared with a list of air medical transport services you can rely on when a patient needs help. We recommend maintaining a list of different air ambulance providers and their specialities so that you have multiple places to turn when you need to set up a transport. That way, you have a variety of possible solutions for the many different situations you might face.
Taking the time to prepare now can save you time and frustration later. For example, case managers sometimes need to arrange a rotor-wing (or helicopter) air ambulance trip or emergency air medical transport. Those aren't services we provide—we do fixed-wing air ambulance trips, as well as transportation via medical motor coach and air medical escort services. But with a little advance preparation, you won't have to waste time making calls to companies who can't fulfill your needs, because you'll just refer to your list of different providers and their specialities, and start contacting those that are most appropriate until you find someone who can take your patient. Having all those resources at your fingertips allows you solve the problem right out of the gate.
As always, the best defense is a good offense. When possible, plan ahead by making yourself aware of different resources in the area (like MedFlight911 air ambulance). Put together a call list of local, regional, and domestic air ambulance resources ahead of time. Flu season is a busy time of year for health care services across the country, and Arizona isn't alone in our high use of emergency resources. You're inevitably going to run into agencies that simply don't have the ability to meet your needs, so you're going to need to have a back-up plan. It will save you—and your patients—time and stress tomorrow!
Interested in learning more about MedFlight911's air medical transport services? Give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.