City Centre Airport closure did not affect medevac service: Review
The Health Quality Council of Alberta has released the findings and recommendations from a review done on medevac operations since the closure of Edmonton’s City Centre Airport in 2013.
The council started the review in response to concerns over how the airport closure would affect patient care. Closure of the City Centre Airport meant that the flights would land south of city limits at Edmonton International Airport.
Researchers followed 232 patient charts and found the extra travel time for critically-ill and time-sensitive patients from the Edmonton International to an acute care hospital did not cause any patient safety or quality issues.
Of the 232, eight died within 24 hours of being transported. However, the report states "No evidence was found that care or time elements of fixed-wing transport/EMS played any significant role in the death of these patients."
The report also made five recommendations to further enhance medevac services:
- That Alberta Health Services build a committee representing rural doctors, EMS directors, transport physicians and STARS to further explore and develop medevac patient care and transport
- AHS introduce standardized documentation in electronic patient care records
- AHS ensures all patient information and documentation related to transfer be made available to care teams as a permanent part of patient’s healthcare record
- AHS implement a comprehensive process to analyze quality metrics for medevac program
- Implementation of dedicated critical care teams in fixed-wing aircraft, along with optimizing where air ambulance resources are placed.
You can read the full report here