Aeromedical Transport and Trauma Care
The board of directors of Redmond Regional Medical Center recently sent a letter to Floyd board members calling into question Floyd’s use of aeromedical helicopter transport for patients. Floyd released the following statement in response to inquiries regarding Redmond’s assertions.
Floyd received a letter from Redmond Board members regarding their concerns over aeromedical helicopter transport. The letter suggested that there have been delays in care, that care has been compromised and that Floyd has a policy banning the use of AirLife Georgia, the helicopter service at Redmond.
These allegations are erroneous.
In response to the Redmond Board’s allegations, the Chairman of the Floyd Healthcare Management, Inc. board asked several board members to join an internal work group to investigate the concerns presented. Members of Floyd’s Board received input from physicians and clinicians and concluded that Redmond’s assertions are unjustified.
As a result, Floyd’s Board has extended an invitation to Redmond’s Board to open a broader discussion led by physicians and other clinicians about clinical decision-making and the appropriate transport and treatment of trauma patients in our community.
There is no policy at Floyd prohibiting the use of AirLife Georgia. Floyd clinicians determine the most appropriate level of treatment and the most appropriate mode of transport for patients
Floyd trusts our clinicians to act in their patient’s best interest. In every case, providing the most appropriate, most efficient and highest quality of care for the patient guides their decision. Contrary to Redmond’s assumptions, there have been no delays in care and no compromised care as a result of a decision to use any transport service other than AirLife Georgia.
Dr. Kevin Hardwell, medical director for Floyd Emergency Medical Services and the Floyd Emergency Care Center, stated emphatically that he has not been required to use a specific helicopter service.
“I have never had a mandate from anyone at Floyd regarding the use of an AirLife Georgia helicopter. We have a relationship with Erlanger, and never once has care been compromised by having to wait on a helicopter.”
Dr. Ken Jones, medical director for the emergency rooms at Polk Medical Center and Cherokee Medical Center, said he received a copy of the letter and echoed Dr. Hardwell’s remarks.
“Their letter suggested that Floyd physicians are jeopardizing patient care. That is absolutely wrong. I have never had any Floyd administrator or board member to tell me how to take care of trauma patients,” he said.
Dr. Hardwell added, “Because of our referral relationship with Erlanger, it only makes sense that we would choose to utilize the receiving facility’s aeromedical transport service, Life Force Air Medical which is based in Calhoun, Ga. This continuity results in more efficient transport and care for our trauma patients.”
It is important to note that Floyd was not involved with the plans to place a helicopter in Rome by AirLife Georgia at Redmond, and Floyd’s clinical referral relationship with Erlanger was in place before the helicopter was placed at Redmond.