Ministry Spirit Medical Transportation earns highest level of accreditation
Ministry Health Care’s Spirit Medical Transportation has earned the medical transport industry’s most respected and highest level of accreditation from The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS). This accreditation is a reflection of Ministry Spirit Medical Transportation’s commitment and focus on quality, patient care, and safety during medical transport.
“We are incredibly honored to achieve this accreditation for our air and ground medical transport service,” said Rick Brodhead, MD, Medical Director, 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 over 20 years, Ministry 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. Ministry Spirit Medical Transportation’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, Ministry Spirit Medical Transportation. “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 Wisconsin with two air ambulances. Spirit Air 1 is based in Marshfield at Ministry Saint 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.
Ministry Spirit Medical Transportation can be accessed by the appropriate medical professionals 24/7 through the Communications Center “MinistryConnect” located at Ministry Saint 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,” added Dr. 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.”
Ministry Spirit Medical Transportation 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 our 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,” added Ryan.
There are nine critical care ground ambulances, and three intercept SUV’s in the Spirit fleet. This year Ministry is purchasing five new ambulances; adding two to its fleet and replacing three. In addition to the state-of-the-art ambulances and helicopters, there are 28 nurses, 34 paramedics, 26 full time EMTs, eight pilots, three maintenance specialists, two regional managers, one communication center manager, one program director and one system medical director.
CAMTS is designed to improve the quality of patient care and safety during transport for services providing rotor-wing, fixed-wing and ground transport systems. The Commission, consisting of 21 nonprofit organizations, is a peer review organization dedicated to improving the quality and safety of medical transport services. Currently there are only 175 critical care transport services world‐wide that have achieved CAMTS accreditation.