CAMTS Is 25 Years Old!

CAMTS Is 25 Years Old!

Ask the CAMTS Eileen Frazer, RN, CMTE CAMTS Is 25 Years Old! The Commission on Accreditation of Air Medical Systems held its inaugural meeting on Ju...

52KB Sizes 1 Downloads 49 Views

Ask the CAMTS

Eileen Frazer, RN, CMTE

CAMTS Is 25 Years Old! The Commission on Accreditation of Air Medical Systems held its inaugural meeting on July 13, 1990, in Kansas City, MO, and we celebrate 25 years in service this year. There were 7 organizations represented at this meeting: the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS), the National Association of EMS Physicians, the National EMS Pilots Association, the National Association Air Medical Communication Specialists, the National Flight Nurses Association, and the National Flight Paramedics Association. I was hired as the executive director, Dr. Nicholas Benson (representing the American College of Emergency Physicians) was elected chair, Karl Gills (representing the AAMS) was elected vice chair/treasurer, and David McIntyre (representing the National Association Air Medical Communication Specialists) was elected secretary. In the late 1980s, the concept for air medical transport accreditation started with conversations at the AAMS Board level in response to the alarming number of helicopter accidents in 1985 to 1988. At the time, I was chair of the AAMS Safety Committee. This committee developed a peer review process we called Priority One. Three beta sites were visited to test the process and guidelines developed by the committee. We were focused on safe practices but learned that we not only needed safety guidelines but also patient care standardization. Our Priority One findings led to a feasibility study that I completed for the AAMS in 1989. After meeting with the Joint Commission as part of my research for this study, it was clear we would need to develop our own process. The Joint Commission had no interest in developing a process for air medical transport because they felt they did not have the necessary aviation expertise. At the annual meeting in 1989, AAMS members voted to loan start-up money to a new, yet-to-be-named organization, and thus we began. There have been many changes since those beginning steps and the first board meeting. These changes not only affected the Commission on Accreditation of Air Medical Systems to become the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (to include ground transport), but also we have seen major changes in health care and transport practices as well. However, 2 very important concepts have not changed; there is still 1 representative from each member organization who serves on the board of directors. It is this collection of experts in medicine and transport who make all the accreditation decisions, create policies, and approve standards as they are created and revised to evolve with current practice. There are now 23 board members who share their time, knowledge, and experience without monetary compensation. Also, our purpose has not changed since that very first meeting where we all agreed that our mission was and is to 228

improve the quality of patient care and the safety of the transport environment. We were unique in that we were the first in the world to develop accreditation specifically for air medical transport so creating bylaws, articles of incorporation, and standards was an exciting and innovative process, but building a sound foundation has proven to be important to our longevity. A favorite quote from President Calvin Coolidge seems pertinent to our tireless efforts and purpose, “No enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others: or failing therein, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist.” Here are some of the highlights of the last 25 years: 1992–Accredited the first air medical service (Life Flight in Fargo, ND) 1995–29 services accredited (all hospital based) 2000–78 services accredited 2005–107 services accredited 2010–152 services accredited (50% are private or community-based services) 2015–170 services accredited (majority are non–hospital based and 8 are owned and operated outside of the United States) Site surveyors are our most important asset, and we are fortunate to have an excellent group of professionals with expertise in all disciplines of medical transport. There are a total of 72 with 4 European site surveyors in our pool of subcontractors. Each must be approved by a selection committee and attend a 3-day course before being mentored by senior site surveyors as they gain experience. We will have a publication with names and brief bios of our board members and site surveyors available at our booth in the exhibit hall during AMTC in Long Beach. Please stop by to visit and obtain a copy of this and other publications (the 10th Edition Accreditation Standards will be available) and gifts to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary. Eileen Frazer, RN, CMTE, is the CAMTS executive director. She can be reached at [email protected] and (864) 287-4177. 1067-991X/$36.00 Copyright 2015 by Air Medical Journal Associates

Air Medical Journal 34:5