|Title:||Emergency Rescue Helicopter Service Arrangements for Inter-Hospital Patient Transfer|
|Document ID:||Information Circular IC 0014/07|
|Date of issue:||Thursday, 7 June 2007|
|Description:||From 1st May 2007, the Royal Flying Doctors Service-Western Operations (RFDS) will provide the clinical coordination of the ERHS for inter-hospital transport and provide a doctor escort for most ERHS inter-hospital transports.Activation of the ERHS for inter-hospital patient transfers will occur via RFDS on 1800 625 800. The duty RFDS doctor, will assess the patient for aeromedical transfer, advise on the patient preparation and treatment required for aeromedical transfer, and may arrange the receiving hospital if requested.It is expected that most ERHS inter-hospital transfers will comprise of a doctor and critical care paramedic. ERHS clinical documentation will include the normal RFDS documentation of RFDS Flight Registration form and transfer envelope and copies of all relevant health records for the patient.If Inter-hospital transfer by ERHS occurs, then SJA will raise an invoice to the referring hospital for an amount for any road ambulance transfers at either end plus, for an amount equivalent to that for use of a ‘Priority One’ road ambulance over the relevant EHRS distance.|
|Period of effect:||from 1 May 2007|
|Authorised by:||Christine O’Farrell, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WA COUNTRY HEALTH SERVICE, 07-Jun-2007|
|Print version:||View print version|
Emergency Rescue Helicopter Service Arrangements for Inter-Hospital Patient Transfer
From 1st May 2007, the Royal Flying Doctor Service-Western Operations (RFDS) will provide the clinical coordination and critical care retrieval doctor for the Emergency Rescue Helicopter Service (ERHS) for inter-hospital patient transfer (IHPT). The arrangements for clinical coordination for primary retrieval through St John Ambulance (SJA) remain unchanged.
The coordination of the ERHS service will be integrated with the RFDS fixed wing service. The RFDS will provide a medical officer to assess and coordinate the ERHS, and to accompany critically ill patients in conjunction with the SJA critical care paramedic. This service will be a joint operation between SJA, RFDS and the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA).
This operational circular is a guide to hospitals and health services concerning the appropriate use of this service.
PrinciplesThese principles are based on those previously advised by the DOH Operational Circular number OP 1888/04 Inter-hospital Transport of Critically Ill Patients.
1. Transport should be undertaken by the most appropriate service having regard to distance, road and weather conditions, urgency, staffing mix and availability of vehicle and staff.
The ERHS is tasked by RFDS for inter-hospital transport for the purposes of:
1. Transport of patients from traditional fixed wing RFDS service areas (greater than 180-200km flying distance from Jandakot Airport or Rottnest Island), where RFDS has received an IHPT request and RFDS resources are limited; or
Indications for ERHS TransferThe need for transfer is dependent upon the patient’s condition and the resources of the referring hospital. Transfer should be considered in clinical conditions described in appendix 1. In the case of paediatric or neonatal patients, further guidance can be sought from Princess Margaret Hospital on 1300 851 511. Any other patients, whom the referring clinician determines may need to be considered for inter-hospital transfer by ERHS, can be discussed with the RFDS doctor.
The RFDS will consider the use of ERHS for inter-hospital patient transfer when:
1. the patient is a priority 1 or 2 case, and
All requests for aeromedical inter-hospital patient transfer should be made through the RFDS 24 operations centre: 1800 625 800.
The RFDS operations centre will require the following details:
1. The patient’s name;
The call will be connected to the duty RFDS doctor, who will:
1. Assess the patient for aeromedical transfer;
If road transport is recommended, the RFDS doctor will arrange this with SJA on 131233.
Note: The RFDS recommends that the referring doctor calls for advice as early as possible if a critically ill patient is being considered for transfer.
The RFDS doctor will negotiate with the referring hospital on arrangements for the retrieval team to either come to the hospital to collect the patient or collect the patient at the helicopter landing site or airport. In the latter case, the referring hospital must ensure that the patient receives an appropriate level of clinical care and monitoring during ambulance transfer.
ERHS StaffingIt is expected that most ERHS inter-hospital transfers teams will include a doctor (provided by RFDS) and critical care paramedic (provided by SJA).
ERHS Clinical DocumentationThe referring hospital should complete the usual transfer documentation, including the RFDS Flight Registration form and the RFDS Transfer Envelope. The RFDS Transfer Envelope provides a checklist to ensure that the patient has been adequately prepared for transport. Copies of all relevant health records should be included.
ERHS CostsRFDS inter-hospital transfers are covered under the existing RFDS Service Agreement, funded by the Department of Health. This includes all costs associated with fixed wing transfers, and the costs of clinical coordination and medical escort for ERHS transfers. For fixed wing transports, there is no cost to the referring hospital other than for ambulance transfers at either end. If transport is by ERHS, SJA will raise an invoice to the referring hospital as follows:
A request for ERHS may be initiated by SJA at the site of a primary retrieval, following which the SJA ambulance crew may transport the patient to the closest hospital for ongoing stabilisation while awaiting the ERHS. This transferring hospital will then be responsible for the cost of the ERHS as an IHPT as outlined above.
This circular last updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007 at 1:58pm