GREENVILLE, S.C. — A long-time partnership between Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS) and Med-Trans Corp. has a new face and address â€“ as well as a 2,700-pound royal blue helicopter.
GHS has worked with Med-Trans for 10 years, but now has partnered to locate GHS Med Trans, a dedicated helicopter, at GHSâ€™ flagship Greenville Memorial Hospital. Having the helicopter and crew physically based at Greenville Memorial paves the way for tighter clinical integration, training and teamwork led by GHS board-certified physicians.
â€œAs a tertiary medical center, itâ€™s our responsibility to provide care for the areaâ€™s most critically ill and injured patients,â€ said GHS President and CEO Michael Riordan. â€œThis enhanced partnership will not only help patients get care faster but will make sure the care received en route is the best it can be.â€
The service will be particularly critical in the care of heart attack, stroke and trauma patients. GHS has one of the nationâ€™s best treatment times for heart-attack patients, and Greenville Memorial Hospital is ranked among the nationâ€™s top 50 hospitals in heart care and heart surgeries in U.S. Newsâ€™ Americaâ€™s Best Hospitals. The dedicated helicopter will also be a lifesaver for children en route to the regional pediatric intensive care unit at GHS Childrenâ€™s Hospital. Air travel cuts transit time by more than two-thirds, turning a 40-minute drive into a 12-minute flight.
The Bell 407 helicopterâ€™s flight crew includes a pilot, flight paramedic and critical-care flight nurse. The crew and helicopter can be en route to an emergency within 3Â½ minutes of the initial call. The helicopter service area will typically be a 100-mile radius, but it can accept service requests for as far as 200 miles.
â€œGHS Med Trans will be a tremendous regional asset, providing indispensible critical care to patients in need when time is of the essence,â€ said Med-Trans Corp. CEO Fred Buttrell. â€œGHS Med Trans will focus on excellent patient care, working with GHS to provide cohesive clinical integration.â€ Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Med-Trans is a leading provider of air ambulance programs throughout the U.S.
GHS Med Trans will also work closely with GHSâ€™ 10 Mobile Care ambulances, which carry equipment similar to the helicopterâ€™s critical care equipment. Mobile Care ambulances transport approximately 15,000 patients annually and are rated for advanced life-support care.
Community hospitals and their patients will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of the new program.
â€œWe provide excellent care here, but there are times when patients need the services that only a Level 1 trauma center can provide,â€ said Oconee Medical Center President and CEO Jeanne Ward. â€œWeâ€™re already exploring more ways we can leverage the unique resources of a tertiary care center to help our own patients.â€
A few minutes can make the difference between whether a patient survives a car accident or can recover from a heart attack or stroke, said Martin Lutz, M.D., the medical director of GHSâ€™ emergency medical services.
â€œIn a heart attack, time is muscle,â€ said Lutz. â€œAnd the sooner we can get patients in, the faster we can open the blockage, stop the heart attack, save heart muscle and preserve heart function.â€
Greenville Memorialâ€™s nationally accredited Chest Pain Center has a median â€œdoor-to-balloonâ€ time of less than 58 minutes, significantly better than the 90-minute national standard for performing clot-busting angioplasties and stent placements on patients suffering heart attacks. The protocol, made possible through exceptional cooperation between Greenville County EMS, Mobile Care and GHSâ€™ emergency medicine and cardiology departments, has been a model for other area hospitals.
Med-Trans also has partnerships with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and AnMed Health. Because of their proximity and close working relationships, the three hospitals will be able to back up each other in the event that their primary helicopters are already on a call, Buttrell said.
The GHS Med Trans helicopter features the latest integrated computerized visual-flight-rules display. The display provides enhanced situational awareness for the pilot and includes a terrain-avoidance warning system, satellite weather display and a traffic avoidance system that shows other aircraft in the area.
Med-Trans Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a leading provider of air ambulance programs in selected locations throughout the United States, focused on establishing partnerships with leading hospital systems, medical centers and EMS agencies to provide customized air medical programs through specialized delivery formats, including alternative delivery models, community based models or traditional hospital-based models. The companyâ€™s extensive fleet delivers teams of highly trained medical and flight professionals to patients requiring emergency medical care and transports the patient to the appropriate medical facility.
Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS) is a not-for-profit academic health organization committed to medical excellence through research and education and is accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Hospital Organizations (JCAHO). Its five campuses provide integrated healthcare to communities across Greenville County and beyond through a tertiary referral and education center, community hospitals, a long-term acute care hospital, nursing home, outpatient facilities and wellness centers. For the second consecutive year, its flagship Greenville Memorial Hospital has been ranked among the nationâ€™s top 50 hospitals in three specialties in U.S. Newsâ€™ 2010-11 publication of Americaâ€™s Best Hospitals. The specialties include heart and heart surgery, gastroenterology, and diabetes and endocrinology.
[The Bell 407 involved is N407CR, a 1998 build aircraft with serial 53254]
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