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Memorial Hermann Life Flight Earns Re-accreditation for Medical Transport Services

life-flight-helicopter-in-air-at-sunset

The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services (CAMTS) has again honored Memorial Hermann Life Flight® with full accreditation, which recognizes the program’s commitment to meeting and exceeding quality patient care and flight safety standards. Accreditation focuses on compliance with CAMTS’ standards for ensuring that patients receive the best possible treatment.

For months, the Life Flight team worked on completing a rigorous CAMTS Program Information Form, which included hundreds of pages of documentation detailing quality outcomes and patient safety initiatives. After the form had been submitted earlier this year, CAMTS conducted a two-day survey at the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) Campus. The survey examined four areas of critical care transport: management and quality, patient care, communications, and safety and environment for both rotorwing and fixed-wing aircraft. While CAMTS accreditation is voluntary, it has become a respected, and often mandated, accreditation for medical transport services.

“Receiving CAMTS accreditation demonstrates that Life Flight is committed to exceeding the highest standards of care and safety for both our patients and our crew members,” said Georgie Brown, RN, chief flight nurse for Life Flight. “While it is an honor to be a CAMTS accredited organization for another three years, our work to consistently provide the highest quality of patient care never stops.”

During their site visit, CAMTS surveyors studied a broad range of areas including flight charts and pilot records, nurse and pilot licenses, education and training, and maintenance. The surveyors also visited two Life Flight bases to verify the number of helicopters and equipment, even checking the expiration dates on disposable items. Quality and safety standards of the pediatric and neonatal, profusion, and circulatory support transport teams were also included in the examination.

“Safety of the flight program is based on the participation of all the disciplines. Communications specialists, helicopter mechanics, nurses, paramedics and pilots must all contribute to our safety culture every day to maintain the focus on employee and patient safety,” said Eric von Wenckstern, administrative director of Life Flight. “CAMTS sets very high standards for flight programs so that the general population who utilizes our services receives the best and safest medical care and transportation that they deserve.”

Life Flight received its first CAMTS accreditation in 2001.The latest CAMTS examination was one of Life Flight’s most successful surveys with no major deficiencies listed. Additionally, surveyors noted “performance improvement” as one of the program’s strengths, which Toni von Wenckstern, RN, administrative director of the Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute, attributes to the readiness of the Life Flight team.

“CAMTS recognizing our performance improvement is a huge testament to the efforts put forth by our team to continuously learn and grow,” she said. “The highest standards of patient care are constantly changing, which means we have to work hard year round to ensure we are always prepared to exceed them.”

Founded in 1976 by James “Red” Duke, M.D., Life Flight operates around the clock – weather permitting – 365 days a year. Since its inaugural flight, Life Flight has flown more than 140,000 missions.