Ministry’s Spirit air transport earns highest level of accreditation
Ministry Health Care’s Spirit Medical Transportation recently earned the medical transport industry’s most respected and highest level of accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).
“We are incredibly honored to achieve this accreditation for our air and ground medical transport service,” said Dr. Rick Brodhead, medical director of Ministry Spirit Medical Transportation. “In a medical emergency, time is incalculably precious and our air and ground transport teams cover a significant area in central and northern Wisconsin, much of it in rural or remote settings, to pick up patients from healthcare facilities and accident scenes and get them to the best available care as quickly as possible.”
For more than 20 years, Spirit has been the region’s leading link providing more than 50,000 safe and timely critical care transports for patients. Getting patients to the right facility quickly and safely means getting them to the definitive care they need when seconds matter.
Spirit’s mission is to provide comprehensive, regionally integrated ground and air transportation for adult, pediatric, neonatal and high-risk obstetrical critical care patients from referral institutions and scenes of injury.
“Providing inter-facility transportation for patients requiring advanced life support or critical care management to or from tertiary hospitals is of particular importance, and is the primary reason Ministry Spirit Medical Transportation exists,” said Ted Ryan, system director. “Our goal is to transport the patient safely to the best available facility when seconds count and that could be to anywhere in Wisconsin, the upper peninsula of Michigan, or facilities in Minnesota.”
Ministry Spirit Medical Transportation covers northcentral and central Wisconsin with two air ambulances.
Spirit Air 1 is based in Marshfield at Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital and Spirit Air 2 is based at Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff. The flight crew consists of a certified flight registered nurse, certified flight paramedic and an Air Methods pilot.
Ground ambulances and crews are based at Ministry hospitals across central and northern Wisconsin. Spirit ground transport crews consist of registered nurses, critical care paramedics and emergency medical technicians.
Both nurses and paramedics assist in the care of critically ill patients at Ministry hospitals where Ministry Spirit bases are located when not on transports, and participate in ongoing training and skill competency checks. Besides having years of clinical and field experiences, both nurses and paramedics receive more than 200 hours of critical care/emergency transport orientation and must be properly certified.
Spirit Medical Transportation can be accessed by the appropriate medical professionals 24/7 through the Communications Center “MinistryConnect” located at Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital. Staffed by communications specialists trained as emergency medical technicians, the staff receives request information and rapidly dispatches the appropriate mode of transportation. During this time, key patient information is collected and relayed to the transport crew. Dispatching a mode of transportation occurs simultaneously to collecting patient and transport information.
“Effective communication is vital for timely and successful dispatch of either the helicopter or ground ambulance,” said Brodhead. “The communication center remains in constant contact with the Ministry Spirit transport teams to monitor their location and keep referral hospitals or emergency scene crews informed of their progress.”
Spirit also sends intercept paramedics to the scene of a medical emergency or accident to offer an advanced level of care. These paramedics provide advanced medical care and enhance the emergency lifesaving capabilities of local volunteer EMS partners.
“Ministry Health Care is proud to support and work hand in hand with local EMS, local volunteer fire departments and area law enforcement during, and after, emergency situations,” said Ryan.