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The Importance of Safety within our Industry

by Lux Joseph 14. January 2014

Safety is a top priority for Commercial Medical Escorts and we strive to deliver only the highest level of patient care and safety when bringing patients back home. No matter what industry you are involved in; safety plays a key role to the success of the business. The air medical transport industry monitors safety very closely as does the aviation industry. On a daily basis planes are delayed from taking off due to mechanical failures, equipment malfunction, or other safety related issues. The safety system that the airline industry has in place helps to prevent accidents and other safety related incidents.

This past year, 2013, has been said to be the safest for flying since 1945. Although some of these numbers may appear large to the average individual, they are shockingly low. This past year there were only 269 deaths and 29 accidents. According to the Aviation Safety Network the 10-year average is 32 accidents and 719 fatalities. As you can see, the numbers are significantly lower. Recently AirlineRatings.com released their results on which airline is the safest carrier worldwide. Qantas, the Australian airline is at the top of the list for the safest carrier worldwide. Qantas has been around since the early 1900s. Qantas has a fatality free record since 1951 and continues to demonstrate its commitment to airline safety.  As a traveler there are many things that we do not see or may know that happens to ensure our safe journey to our final destination.

Airline maintenance professionals play a vital role in the preparation for airline takeoff. They are working hard to guarantee aircraft safety procedures are followed and reviewed on a continuous basis. There are a series of checks that need to take place prior to passengers even boarding the plane. In my recent travel experience to New York and Boston we were stuck sitting in the LaGuardia terminal for 3 hours after the initial departure time. The original delay was due to no crew available. Once the crew arrived, passengers quickly jumped to their feet expecting to board immediately. Unfortunately to their surprise we were not allowed to board at that time. The plane had been sitting on the tarmac all day and night during the recent storm and not ready for departure. The crew and maintenance professionals had to begin their series of checks. Prior to takeoff the following events take place:

 

                      Maintaining the Aircraft

                      Planning the Aircraft

                      Securing the Aircraft

                      Ground Operations

                     Passenger Screening

                      Crew Briefings

                      Preparations on the Flight Deck

                      Safety Checks

                      Pre-Boarding

                      General Boarding

                      Closing the Cabin Door

                      Safety Briefing

                      Push Back and Taxiing

                      De-Icing

                      Takeoff

Each of these tasks is critical to safe operation. Qantas has proven their commitment to excellence in airline safety. Similar to the airline industry, Commercial Medical Escorts follows specific procedures to ensure patient safety during all of our transports.

 

 

 

Commercial Medical Escorts has a 100% Safety Record and this is achieved with equipment checklists, thorough pre-flight assessments, and a working environment that promotes safety first. Patient Safety Awareness week is March 2-8, 2014 and CME will be exploring ways to participate and promote this throughout our business practice. Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual education and awareness campaign for health care safety led by NPSF (National Patient Safety Foundation). Commercial Medical Escorts may not receive a rating for safety like the airlines, but internally we have systems in place to ensure patient safety. Commercial Medical Escorts takes part in The Universal Patient Compact: Principles for Partnership provided by the National Patient Safety Foundation and pledge the following to you as our patient:

·         Include you as a member of the team

·         Treat you with respect, honesty and compassion

·         Always tell you the truth

·         Include your family or advocate when you would like us to

·         Hold ourselves to the highest quality and safety standards

·         Be responsive and timely with our care and information to you

·         Help you to set goals for your healthcare and treatment plans

·         Listen to you and answer your questions

·         Provide information to you in a way you can understand

·        Respect your right to your own medical information

·         Respect your privacy and the privacy of your medical information

·         Communicate openly about benefits and risks associated with commercial medical transport

·         Provide you with information to help you make informed decisions about your care and transport options

·         Work with you, and other partners who treat you, in the coordination of your care and transfer

When you fly with CME, you can rest assure that patient safety is our top priority and bringing you or your loved one home safely will always be our promise to you.

 

Meet Ed from Our Team

by Lux Joseph 3. January 2014
 
 
 
Today we get an inside look into one of our top clinicians on staff and why they do what they do. Ed is one of our Nationally Registered Paramedics based out of Phoenix, AZ. His willingness to help others is apparent in his demeanor and presentation with each patient transport. Below you will learn more about Ed and what drives him to excel in the area of aeromedical transport.
 
Most enjoyable part of this job: I enjoy meeting people from all over the world. It is not under the best circumstances for the patient, but I am able to help them arrive safety to their destination. Many of the patients I meet like to keep in touch after the trip.
 
Where did you gain your experience and knowledge: I became an emergency medical technician in the early 90s in eastern Iowa. I served on a volunteer fire department in my community. Wanting to give a higher level of care to my patients, I attained my paramedic certification in 1994. In 2001, I moved to Arizona to become a flight paramedic in both helicopters and airplanes. Working with a nurse-partner, we transported not only 911 emergency patients, but also critical care patients between hospitals. I gained a great deal of valuable experience working directly with these highly trained nurses.
 
What has been your most interesting transport and why: My most interesting transport so far was accompanying a patient to his Native Alaskan fishing village with a population of 800. We flew a commercial airline to Anchorage. After arriving in Anchorage, the weather became too bad for our charter flight to take us on to the village. We overnighted at a hotel. The next day, with clear skies, we flew in an 8-seat, piston engine airplane over snow-covered mountains. This flight was an unforgettable experience with its beautiful views. Upon arriving in the small village, I was greeted with warmth and hospitality by the patient's family. This made the trip forever memorable. I have also enjoyed working with MD Liron transporting a patient from Nairobi, Kenya, to Philadelphia, PA, USA and also RN Isabel from Frankfurt, Germany, to Los Angeles, CA, USA.
 
What areas of expertise do you have experience in: Being a former pre-hospital emergency provider, you need to help every range of patient: from newborn to geriatric, trauma to medical, and also behavioral while providing care in varied circumstances. This has helped me to be a more "adaptable" provider.
 
When you are not flying what do you do: My wife and I enjoy running and cycling. This past summer, we completed 3 half marathons. We also enjoy traveling together especially when we can experience public transport rather than renting a car.
 
What would you tell future clients of CME: I would like future clients of CME to know that CME is very dedicated to helping the patient and family arrive safely at their destination. CME is very organized with attention to the many details required for this type of transport. This makes it possible for me to concentrate my time and energy to the client. When a change is needed during a transport due to weather delays or other circumstances, the staff at CME is quick and effective to keep the transport safe and comfortable. CME is the most professional medical transport company I have worked with in my twenty plus years.
 
Please describe a difficult trip and the outcome of it: I have not really had a difficult flight with CME because everything is so well planned by the dispatch personnel. In general, I think language can be a barrier that can make a transport more difficult, but certainly not impossible. Being able to speak the same language as a patient, or the countries involved, is helpful, but using "sign" language, drawings, and Google translate have been helpful to make the transport easier.
 
Ed, like many of our medical escorts, is always going above and beyond the call of duty. Our expectations at CME are set high, and the medical escorts always strive to surpass them. On a recent transport that Ed completed with another CME medical escort their words to the management team were, “I am so proud of Ed.  CME should be honored to have such a great sympathetic, loving, professional, knowledgeable, caring, concerned, and loyal person working for you”. CME strategic hiring practices enable CME to deliver only the highest level of patient care. It is quite possible that Ed could be the one brining you home if you hire Commercial Medical Escorts and if so, you will see his professionalism and dedication to patient care shine.
 


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