Air Ambulance: Communicating Services Without Misconceptions
Air Ambulance services are not often well understood by the public in many countries. While some see it only as a faster mode of emergency transfer than land ambulances, others see air medical transfer as simply too expensive or are put off by fears of high costs, combined with a lack of transparency in procedures and billing. Quite simply, people do not know of the advanced services in modern-day air ambulances and are not aware of the criteria for choosing a good provider.
People are largely unaware of the specialized medical skills and advanced equipment used by air-medical transfer services these days. This can lead to misperceptions, often created by substandard providers in some countries who deploy partially qualified personnel and insufficient equipment, that Air Ambulance services make profits at the expense of patients. Air Ambulance services can do more to not only ensure standards but also communicate them clearly to the public.
As noted in a recent article in AirMed & Rescue, “There is still some mistaken thinking out there that air ambulances are paid for by the state and are a ‘scoop and go’ service, simply flying patients to the most appropriate hospital as quickly as possible, then ‘drop and run’ before returning to base.” In fact, most air medical transfer services these days are privately operated, and often involve planned, long-distance transfers by jets, besides emergencies attended to by helicopters.
Bluedot Air Ambulance has been taking several conscious steps to remove misconceptions in the market. From our screening process for UMeN, our network of medical escorts chosen only after diligent verification, background checks, and certification and training, to the use of only EURAMI and CAMTS-certified providers, we are doing our best to assure customers of the quality and value that air medical transfer services can provide.
Clients are often individuals as well as major insurance, healthcare, and governmental organizations. And in either case, it is important to convey our quality standards as well as the value we provide them. It is in the interest of customers as well as the industry itself to convey the economical advantages of services like passenger flight stretchers, encouraging greater use of air medical transfer services. When the public relevance of a service or its quality criteria is not clear, it is the duty of leading providers to communicate them clearly and widely.