Nursing

Nurses hit the road to improve patient safety

Nurse Leader Insider, January 19, 2017

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In Illinois, nurses are joining critical care transport teams to improve patient care and reduce hospital wait times.

The critical-care transport program, a joint venture with Memorial Medical Center, Logan County Paramedic Association, and American Ambulance Services, trains registered nurses in ambulatory care and pairs them with a paramedic to provide specialized patient care on ambulance trips between hospitals. The service focuses on transporting critically-ill patients from rural hospitals within an hour’s drive of Springfield’s larger hospitals; the program was designed to lighten the burden on rural hospitals and ensure that patients are moved safely between hospitals. The nurses see benefits as well, as they can participate as part time employees of the various services.

The program started about a year ago, and it is already showing promising results. Smaller rural hospitals have been happy with the program, as it has helped keep their smaller staff from spreading too thin. Patient medical costs have gone down, as it has reduced the use of medical helicopter services, and many patients have experienced a shorter wait time, as the dedicated transports provide faster service then the typical transport.

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