EMS Ambulance 18 Oct 2021
A medical repatriation is a complex operation. There are so many different people involved – patients, families, ambulance teams and hospital staff (in two separate countries). The medical situations can be sensitive and complicated. And although safety is the highest priority of all, they often need to happen at speed, over multiple borders and across thousands of miles.
That’s why EMS Ambulance provides a Doctor-on-Call for every road or air ambulance transport. What exactly is a Doctor-on-Call? Essentially, it’s an experienced medical director who takes charge of each case and provides round-the-clock telephone support to the ambulance teams. It’s not something you’ll find every repatriation company doing. But we feel it provides an added layer of expertise and security for transports, and reassurance for patients and their families.
Here are three ways that having a Doctor-on-Call can help with repatriations:
To guarantee your quality of careMost of EMS’s medical directors operate from our international HQ in the Netherlands, though we have others stationed across the globe. They’re highly experienced doctors with many years of medical service, often with additional specialisms in fields such as trauma or cardiology. (You can meet some of them in the Our Team section of our website.) They start work as soon as we know a transport is going ahead. They review the patient’s medical report and make sure the right equipment and medication are being prepared for the journey. And they’ll keep reviewing the case throughout the transport, to guarantee the patient gets the support they need from collection to destination. This is just one element in our commitment to the globally-recognised ISO 9001:2015 standard for quality management.
To talk to the different hospitals
Many of our clients are in hospital when we arrive to collect them, and we’ll be taking them to another hospital in their destination country. That means careful coordination needs to happen between different medical teams in different parts of the world. The doctors and nurses will often speak other languages, and they may have other services, practices and treatment regimes in place in their hospitals too. What treatment and surgery has the patient had? What medicines and painkillers are they taking? Who are their key points of contact at both hospitals? The Doctor-on-Call is often the person who will get in touch with the hospitals and ask these kinds of questions, so we can prepare our patient properly for the journey and their onward care.
To support our transport teams
Our medical directors also act as another layer of support for patients as they travel from A to B. They know when you’ve left the local hospital and how your journey is progressing. And they’re literally on-call to speak to our doctors or paramedics if they ever need advice, backup or a second opinion during the transport. For instance, they can provide the ambulance team with recommendations for painkillers and dosage, or for a technique that has to be undertaken enroute. This doesn’t just apply to the ambulance connections and airport transfers. With internet access now available on many long-haul flights, they can often be available to the medics after take-off too, by phone, WhatsApp and other messaging services. Since the Doctor-on-Call usually knows the patient’s situation well from the medical report and their hospital communications, they have everything they need to make the best decisions for your patient.
If you’d like to know more about EMS Ambulance’s Doctor-on-Call service, please drop the team a line today and ask them how they can support your repatriation. You’ll find all the details on our Contact page, and we always aim to answer or come back to you within minutes if we can. To get a free estimate for a medical transport by air or road, you can also use our online cost calculator.