Making a seamless transition
April 11, 2019
Local medical staff have been training alongside Black Hills Life Flight to improve transport protocols when a patient needs to be airlifted to another facility.
“We’re doing more regular training with them to streamline hand-off with the ER providers and the Black Hills Life Flight crew and improve patient care and the timeframe for transports,” says EMS Division Chief Jay Kenealy, Crook County Medical Services District.
The training includes all aspects of the hand-off procedure, he says, from medications and equipment to communication and reports.
“It’s familiarization as far as what their role is in the flight crew and what our role is so that we can make it mesh and run more smoothly together,” he says.
For the first time, the training included hospital staff as well as EMS because the process of preparing a patient to be transported begins in the emergency room. The training helped members of staff who don’t normally get to see what happens in the helicopter better understand what goes on between the ER and take-off.
For medical personnel who work in very different environments, says Kenealy, it may not be immediately obvious how needs and protocols differ.
“Things can get tangled up,” he says as an example of what can happen on that short journey. “We’re trying to streamline the transition from the ER bed onto the ambulance cot and then out to the helicopter and then in the helicopter so that we don’t have as much entanglement.”