Not always an easy decision!
While the answer is not always black and white, this is a question we are regularly asked. We can, however, help you learn the differences between the accrediting bodies so you can make an informed decision.
Only you know your service area, clients and future business/growth plans best. What modes of transport are you accrediting? Ground and rotor? Fixed and rotor? ALS or Critical Care?
Depending on the accrediting agency, you may have a few things to consider.
Cost is another question we are asked regularly. The cost of accreditation varies from body to body and is dependent on the number of bases and transport vehicles.
Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS)
CAAS accreditation is specifically for ground ambulance or EMS programs. Established in 1990 after years of needs assessment, CAAS’s board is represented by professional fire and EMS organizations, the Emergency Nurses Association, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, the National Association of EMS Physicians and the National Association of State EMS Directors.
According to their website, there are currently more than 180 accredited agencies throughout the United States, Canada and West Indies.
CAAS accreditation is valid for a three year term. At that time, reaccreditation is necessary.
Learn more at: https://www.caas.org
Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS)
CAMTS is quite possibly the most recognized name in medical transport accreditation. Since its inception in the early 1990’s, CAMTS has expanded its breadth to include multiple modes of patient transport and patient transport models.
These modes include: rotor wing, fixed wing, ground, medical escort and other surface (aquatic rescue, for example), special operations – medical retrieval and community paramedicine.
Level of service can include basic, advanced or critical care.
In 2015, CAMTS Global was registered in Switzerland. This growth allows for programs outside of North America to obtain accreditation with standards that were modified to include the differences in education and operations.
For programs that offer multiple modes of transport, CAMTS is an excellent option to consider for accreditation.
CAMTS accreditation is valid for a three year term. A reaccreditation audit is completed at that time.
Certain eligibility criteria must be met.
European Aeromedical Institute (EURAMI)
Established in the early 1990’s in Germany, EURAMI’s primary objectives include “the promotion of high quality, safe aeromedical transportation in Rotary Wig, Fixed Wing and Commercial Airline Medical Escort transfers.”
The board is representative of its accredited members and is physician led.
Fixed wing accreditation endorsements include: neonatal, pediatric and adult critical care; advanced adult critical care and EMS special care. Range designators include regional or long-range/intercontinental distances.
Rotor wing accreditation endorsements include: HEMS, interfacility transport and search and rescue (SAR).
EURAMI accreditation is valid for a period of three years, in which time a reaccreditation audit is completed.
In order to be eligible, certain criteria must be met.
National Accreditation Alliance of Medical Transport Applications Global (NAAMTA)
Started in the early 2010’s in Utah, United States, NAAMTA’s goals include “improving the safety and quality of the medical transport industry.” They accomplish this through their audit process and ongoing compliance tracking.
NAAMTA accredits all modes of patient transportation: rotor wing, fixed wing, medical escort, ground and aquatic.
For programs that offer multiple modes of transport, NAAMTA is an excellent option to consider for accreditation.
Recently, NAAMTA expanded to include medical transport programs outside of the United States. NAAMTA Global recognizes the differences in training and operations and utilizes the same standards for audit.
At the end of the three (3) year accreditation term, a reaccreditation audit will be completed. Prerequisites must be met.