Scripps Health has become the first health system in San Diego County to launch a specialty care transport program for adults that is focused on the continuum of care of some of the sickest patients at Scripps hospitals.
Under the program, critically ill patients who require transport between Scripps facilities will be managed by experienced Scripps critical care nurses and accompanied by an American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance crew.
Having a specialty critical care transportation team on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ensures that patients are safely transported with the most appropriate level of on-board medical care.
“Streamlining the continuum of care for our sickest patients was important, and we worked with AMR to develop a program that keeps patients under Scripps’ direct care even as they travel between our hospitals,” said Juliann Eigner, RN, who led the months-long effort to establish the critical care transportation program, which complements already existing critical care transportation services by AMR.
The program was launched in partnership with AMR, which provides emergency and non-emergency medical transportation services throughout San Diego County and across the nation. AMR provides the ambulance that transports the critical care patients and the emergency medical technicians who run the vehicle.
“AMR transports more than 18,000 patients per year for Scripps Health. This new collaboration complements our partnership by providing patients access to specialized Scripps teams on our ambulances between all Scripps facilities,” said Benjamin Miller, AMR critical care transport nurse manager. “We are excited to partner with Scripps on this new program as we continue to meet the clinical needs of Scripps’ most critically ill patients.”
The critical care transportation program centers on a team of registered nurses with years of intensive care experience and other specially trained care providers, such as respiratory therapists and cardiac perfusionists.
The team travels in a quick response vehicle available 24-hours a day, wrapped in the Scripps branding and equipped with a wide range of sophisticated equipment and specialized medicines for airway management, oxygenation, ventilation, blood flow monitoring, resuscitation and management of life support devices.
The critical care transportation program represents a $1 million investment by Scripps to enhance the level of care that can be provided when a critically ill patient must be moved from one facility to another.
Types of specialty critical care patients transported through the program include those who are on mechanical circulatory support devices, those who are suffering profound respiratory failure and needing specialty breathing machines, patients who have suffered traumas, or those who have had a stroke.
“For some of our most seriously ill patients, transportation is often necessary to provide them access to the specialized centers of excellence that we have created throughout our health system” said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “Our investment in this critical care transportation program ensures a continuum of care for those patients, and it fits with our long-standing mission to provide the highest level of care to our community.”
Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.