Air Ambulance Review, March 2018
ITIJ contacted CAMTS, EURAMI and NAAMTA to find out what the various accreditation organisations have been up to over the past 12 months, and what they hope to achieve in 2019
Last year was productive for NAAMTA Medical Transport and Medical Escort Accreditation. Providers are seeking us out to attain the benefits of a service-oriented accreditation programme. Our numbers continue to increase, with 26 accredited programmes throughout the world. We have 17 audits scheduled for 2019 and several newcomers pursuing accreditation. NAAMTA accredited members span a variety of services ranging from community-based organisations, hospital programmes, interstate, international, and military service providers. We are committed to continuing the assets of our services and look forward to several positive changes in 2019.
First, our company branding, our name, has been changed to NAAMTA Global. With global inquiries into our accreditation and the increased growth of our international customers, we felt it important to say it in our name.
We are excited to welcome Andy Lee as our newest employee. He has been hired to head our international business development and base operations in Malta.
In line with our ISO 9001:2015 accreditation, we strive to improve the quality of our services. For example, during 2019 we will be releasing and publishing an update to the NAAMTA Standards.
Being known as a customer-centric accreditation, we are committed to offering tools that help our members attain and maintain compliance. Our member page, known as the NAAMTA Intranet, has been our platform offering the support that accredited programmes need. Specifically, our online compliance tools, business forms, workflows and routing approvals are used to assist customers in their own processes as well as in demonstrating continuous commitment to NAAMTA Accreditation Standards.
Since our beginnings, we’ve provided tutorials to assist customers with the process of accreditation. Our library will expand to help alliance members use NAAMTA tools. We are releasing a new series to the ‘NAAMTACAST’, a new and developing podcast, and a NAAMTA vlog available soon on the NAAMTA website. The NAAMTA Learning Centre has also received a shot in the arm. As a learning management system, our course content is expanding to further help our customers for training and demonstrate competency.
Finally, NAAMTA is putting the NAAMTA Symposium back on our calendar. Historically, the symposium has been a place where alliance members meet and learn about industry trends, organisational improvements, multi-disciplinary approaches, and creating positive influences within their organisation and across the globe.
Last year was a busy time of expansion and consolidation. For example, CAMTS accredited 58 medical transport services. Those 58 programmes included 271 bases. For initial accreditation site visits to new applicants, this means a site surveyor will visit every base. Accredited programmes are listed on the camts.org and camtsglobal.org websites.
In addition to complex site surveys, we completed the standards and process for Special Operations – Medical Retrieval, which were accepted by both the CAMTS and CAMTS Global Board of Directors and is available worldwide. Special Operations – Medical Retrieval includes criteria for services that provide tactical rescue or SWAT: call-outs and citizen recovery from potentially unstable environments. There are already two applications for this specific accreditation.
The 11th Edition CAMTS Accreditation Standards were published in October 2018. The Standards Committee (organised per American National Standards Institute (ANSI) policies) spent 18 months meeting and discussing comments from the public and peers who visit our website to comment on the drafts of standards.
In July 2018, the CAMTS and CAMTS EU Board members met in Munich at the ADAC headquarters where CAMTS EU was rebranded as CAMTS Global. In July 2019, there will be a CAMTS-CAMTS Global Board meeting in Seattle. Guests from professional agencies in Asia and Europe will be invited to attend as we expand the number of organisations represented on the CAMTS Global Board of Directors.
In March 2019, a site surveyor class will add 16 new surveyors to the current pool of 60 active site surveyors. Two of the new surveyors are medical transport clinicians from Europe, several are pilots and several more have neonatal/paediatric transport backgrounds. All the new site surveyors have at least 10 years’ air and ground transport experience. They will be assigned with senior site surveyors to meet the needs of the increasing number of neonatal and paediatric transport teams and the potential for more international site visits.
The European Aero Medical Institute (EURAMI) has welcomed 2019 with a new Managing Director as well as a newly elected Board to support the growth and development of the organisation. Dedicated to promoting excellence and quality in aeromedical transportation, EURAMI is currently reviewing its Version 5.0 standards to incorporate recent developments and changes within the industry. As introduced by Dr Terry Martin, Chief Auditor, EURAMI’s current priority is to adjust its scoring methodology to ensure a high level of consistency as well as to recognise that there are critical ‘must haves’ for safety and medical quality, all of which must be met to be credentialed, while other items may be fulfilled for an overall score.
Another focus in 2019 will be the addition of auditors for Air Ambulance, Rotary Wing and Commercial Airline Escort sector audits to ensure even better availability and geographical coverage. Thus, EURAMI is entertaining its first auditor training with more than 10 confirmed participants from all over the globe in spring 2019. The training – the first of its kind within the organisation – will be attended by both current and new auditors to ensure a mutual standard at all audits across the organisation.
EURAMI President Dr Cai Glushak has announced his plan to expand the association’s communication channels with members as well as external stakeholders to ensure it actively seeks input and feedback on standards and monitoring, as well as other means in which accreditation can bring credibility to the aeromedical industry. As stated in his first message to members, a priority for EURAMI going forward is to ensure, to the greatest possible extent, objectivity and integrity in the accreditation process and this implies moving toward heightened transparency and consensus.
It will indeed be a busy year for EURAMI auditors, with more than 15 re-accreditations of current providers as well as several primary accreditations already confirmed. EURAMI will continue its growth and expansion globally across its accreditation categories.
Claudia Schmiedhuber (Managing Director) will be present at the ITIC conferences, meeting with members and interested providers and will update EURAMI members with regular communication on the association’s progress.
With many exciting projects in the pipeline, the EURAMI Office and Board is looking forward to an exciting and productive 2019!