Category: WHAT’S NEW?

20 Years: The MedFlight Mobile ICU Division

“It was 20 years ago today that I started as a Mobile ICU paramedic for MedFlight…they had just acquired the Riverside Methodist Hospital Critical Care Transport team where I had previously worked.  On October 20th, 1996, my last shift at Riverside, we were asked to bring the Mobile ICU vehicles to MedFlight as our final task.

I remember MedFlight leadership standing at the hangar door, welcoming us to MedFlight.  I think all of us were excited about this new chapter in our careers.

I have seen many changes through the last 20 years and worked with so many talented people that it boggles my mind.  Working for MedFlight has been awesome, and I wouldn’t have missed the experience for anything.”

~ Lou Hoyer, MedFlight Mobile ICU Paramedic for 20 Years

What a great resource our critical-care  Mobile ICU teams have been for Ohio patients.  This excellent division of MedFlight doesn’t get the limelight it deserves, but, without it, MedFlight would not be who we are today.  To all of our partners that have served and continue to serve on the Mobile ICU teams…. THANK YOU.  And congratulations on 20 great years of service.

~ Tom Allenstein, President and CEO of MedFlight

Never Forget 9/11/01.

I hope all of you took time this morning to stop, take a moment of silence and reflected on the events that occurred  15 years ago.  Many lives were lost or affected and many heroes emerged as well. I still remember the day very well and the shock and anger that I felt seeing those events unfold. It will forever live in my memory.

It is good to reflect on that day and everything that has occurred since that time and take time to thank each of our service men and women who continue to fight for our freedom and to keep us safe every day. It is also important to thank all of our public service people (fire, EMS, and police) for their dedication to making sure we are protected and safe as well. You are all heroes in my book and thanks for all you do, and God Bless America!

Tom Allenstein, CEO & President of MedFlight

MedFlight Trialing Transport Telemedicine

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MedFlight is beginning an exciting new venture!  Our Columbus-based Mobile ICU team, MedFlight 12, will be involved in a groundbreaking Critical-Care Transport Telemedicine trial.

For 60 days, our teams will partner with Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center physicians to further our over-arching goal of enhancing patient care. An interactive, handheld audio/visual device will be placed in the back of the Mobile ICU, and will be moved throughout the vehicle to test to effectiveness of the device on our transports.  Each time the Mobile ICU team contacts MedComm to be connected with the on-call Medical Control Physician (MCP), the physician at Wexner Medical Center will log into a computer and “beam in” to the telemedicine device.  The physician will get to see the patient in real-time and help guide the care based on both what the MedFlight team tells them and also what they visualize.

“Historically, when physician medical direction is needed, the physician speaks to the transport crew either on the phone or on the radio, limiting our patient assessment to a mental picture and voice communication,” states MedFlight Medical Director Dr. Howie Werman.  “This telemedicine device allows the physician to see the patient, their symptoms, and their reaction to treatment, allowing for a better overall assessment during the transport phase.”

We will be tracking and surveying transports that include transport telemedicine with our transport debrief system that occurs at the completion of each MedFlight patient transport.  This quick and easy 10-question survey will help the Telemedicine team at Wexner Medical Center evaluate the usefulness of this device in the intra-hospital transport setting.

We’re proud to work with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on this venture.  This effort is only part of our constant drive to enhance patient care and recovery.  Partners for Life.

MedFlight is proudly owned and preferred by both The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and OhioHealth.

 

–  Caitlin Mazer, MedFlight Mobile ICU RN

Cold Weather Tips

Ohio winters can be quite cold.  Please consider these tips to remain warm and safe.

  • Please exercise an increased caution in your endeavors while outside.
    • Make sure you are adequately dressed and prepared for the worst.
    • Be careful when outside to keep your body covered to avoid exposure and the formation of frostbite
    • Consider keeping your coats on even while traveling in your vehicles
    • If you are traveling:
      • consider having personal survival kits in your vehicles
      • Make sure you have adequate fuel and supplies should you breakdown or have a problem.
      • You may want to consider fuel additives to prevent mechanical issues caused by condensation
      • Make sure your battery has been tested and able to withstand the cold
      • Make sure your cell phones are charged and available should you need to call for help.
            • When traveling to different locations use well-traveled routes and not back roads or cross country.

      Stay safe and stay warm!

      Tom Allenstein, President/CEO of MedFlight

      Safe Trick-or-Treat Tips for Halloween

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      Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

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      Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

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      Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

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      Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

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      Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.

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      Always test make-upExternal Web Site Icon in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

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      Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

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      Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.External Web Site Icon

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      Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

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      Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

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      Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

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      Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

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      Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

       

      These tips brought to you by the CDC.  Stay safe!

      MedFlight: 20 Years and Counting!

      By Tom Allenstein, President and Chief Executive Officer

      This past April marked MedFlight’s 20th anniversary of serving Ohio!  Entering this milestone gives us a time to reflect on all that has been accomplished since our two founding helicopter organizations, OSU SkyMed and GrantLifeFlight, merged in 1995.

      Since that merger, we have seen expansion, contraction and changes in response to the needs of the communities we serve….

      • We’ve seen the addition of Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs) to complement our helicopter fleet.
      • We were invited into new markets outside of Central Ohio, including Akron and Cleveland, and we grew into eastern, southern, western, and northern Ohio.
      • We added helicopters to serve our requestors better, with a total of 10 now based across Ohio.
      • We entered into the 911 service arena, assisting Coshocton County EMS for nearly 10 years. We now fill service voids with MedCare, our own ALS/BLS ambulance service partnership.
      • We developed our MedComm Communications Center to meet the need for highly professionalized dispatching needs across Ohio. MedComm has grown to also serve air medical transport programs in Indiana and West Virginia.
      • Our education programs have grown to provide advanced training to thousands of paramedics, nurses and EMS workers across Ohio.
      • We’ve seen the addition and then subsequent subtraction of a regional/national fixed-wing program, so we could better focus our assets in Ohio.
      • We adopted the single-engine EC 130 helicopter fleet-wide, and entered into a new helicopter service partnership with Metro Aviation, Inc. This standardization increases safety, conserves precious healthcare dollars and positions us responsibly for the future.

      Successfully executing our mission requires that we continuously earn and keep the trust of local firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement, hospital staff and the patients they serve. This trust has been validated by our daily work and our award-winning operations. In 2014 MedFlight was recognized as Program of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS). In 2012 we received the Vision Zero Safety Award , the highest industry award for air and ground critical care safety. Both awards are a testament to the dedication of the crewmembers, communicators, administrators and partner vendors that make up MedFlight.

      To say the last 20 years have been an “up and down ride” would be an understatement. However, MedFlight has always responded to the ever-changing healthcare transport environment with an eye on excellence and professionalism, and we will continue to seek out new service opportunities that support our Patients Firstmission.

      Long-time MedFlight Chief Operating Officer Tom Allenstein was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer upon the retirement of former President and CEO Rod Crane in December 2014.

      MedFlight Awarded $2,500 Grant from Crawford County

      MedFlight is honored to be awarded a $2,500 grant from the Community Foundation of Crawford County.  The funds will be specifically used in supporting clinical education to Crawford County emergency care providers.

      MedFlight is proud to be part of Crawford County community with our 24-hour helicopter in-service for county residents, and through additional value-added services for county first responders and caregivers. This award will help us improve care for patients through those that serve them. Thank you Crawford County for allowing us to serve you!