Brokering Medical Flights: Read Before Taking Flight

From time to time, it may be necessary to utilize an industry partner for an air ambulance flight. When it comes to brokering medical flights, there are crucial requirements and standards that must be followed to ensure the highest level of patient care and safety. In this blog, we will explore the necessary considerations and accreditation bodies involved in the process. Understanding these requirements will help you make informed decisions and ensure optimal outcomes.

Accrediting Bodies in Air Ambulance Operations

Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS)

CAMTS is an internationally recognized accreditation organization that establishes and maintains standards for the medical transport community. They evaluate air ambulance providers based on various criteria, including patient care, safety, and quality management. Brokers often prioritize working with CAMTS-accredited providers to ensure superior services.

European Aeromedical Institute (EURAMI)

EURAMI is the leading accreditation organization in Europe for aeromedical services. Their standards focus on patient care, aircraft, medical teams, and administrative processes. When brokering flights within Europe, partnering with EURAMI-accredited air ambulance providers ensures adherence to rigorous standards and best practices.

National Accreditation Alliance of Medical Transport Applications (NAAMTA):

NAAMTA is a US-based accreditation organization specializing in medical transport services. They evaluate providers based on their commitment to patient care, safety, quality management, and continuous improvement. Working with NAAMTA-accredited air ambulance providers guarantees compliance with high industry standards.

Selecting Accredited Air Ambulance Providers

When brokering a medical flight, it is crucial to partner with reputable and accredited air ambulance providers. Here are the key considerations:

Medical Team Qualifications

Accreditation bodies emphasize the qualifications and experience of medical teams. These teams typically consist of highly trained medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics. Ensure that the air ambulance providers have a competent and experienced medical team capable of handling diverse medical scenarios.

Aircraft and Equipment

The aircraft used for medical transportation should be well-maintained, equipped with necessary medical devices, and suitable for the patient’s condition. Providers with a diverse fleet can accommodate different patient needs, such as neonatal incubators or ICU capabilities.

Communication and Coordination

Effective communication and coordination between the air ambulance provider, requestor, and healthcare facilities are critical. Verify that the chosen provider has robust communication systems and procedures in place to ensure seamless information exchange and coordination.

Safety and Quality Management

Accredited providers prioritize patient safety and quality management. They implement comprehensive safety protocols, conduct regular safety audits, and have robust quality management systems in place. Look for providers with a strong safety culture and a commitment to continuous improvement.

International Capabilities

If your medical flight requires crossing international borders, consider partnering with providers experienced in international operations. They should be familiar with customs and immigration processes, have the necessary permits, and comply with international regulations.

Brokering Process and Transparency

When brokering an air ambulance mission, transparency and ethical practices should be at the forefront of your operations. Here are some essential aspects to consider:

Client and/or Requestor Awareness

Regardless of accreditation standard, the client or requestor must be aware that a 3rd party is completing the transport.

Clear Contracts and Agreements

Establish a clear and comprehensive contract that outlines the responsibilities, scope of services, and financial agreements between all parties involved. This helps ensure transparency and avoids misunderstandings.

Compliance with Regulations

Ensure that the air ambulance providers you work with comply with applicable aviation, medical, and regulatory requirements. This includes adherence to licensing, insurance, and relevant legal frameworks.

Patient Confidentiality and Privacy

Protecting patient confidentiality and privacy is of utmost importance. Verify that the air ambulance providers have strict policies and procedures in place to safeguard patient information.

There is an inherent loss of quality control when brokering or referring a flight to an industry partner; and this may be inevitable at one point or another. When doing so, you must ensure you follow accreditation requirements for selecting a provider to complete the transport. If you are not accredited, selecting a provider that is ensures a verifiably quality provider will be taking care of your client.