Integration of EMS and Hospital System Is Key to Ambulance Service Success

In March 2017, Memphis, Tennessee, based Baptist Memorial Health Care signed a master services agreement with Priority Ambulance for it to become the ambulance transport provider for the healthcare system. A few weeks later, Priority Ambulance had sent 10 ambulances and more than 60 employees to Baptist’s vice medical facilities in the greater Memphis area. A year into the relationship has yielded 31 vehicles and more than 300 ambulance employees providing medical transport to more than 30,000 patients per year. It also provides six communities with 9-1-1 service in Mississippi and West Tennessee.

The plan began in 2016, when the two organizations worked to define improvements for moving patients needing a higher level of care located at smaller regional locations across three states with the ultimate goal to delivery patient delivery at the right place at the right time, keeping patients as close to home as possible. A final goal was to improve patient flow efficiency through transportation. The two organizations achieved this by integrating Priority Ambulances dispatch center with Baptist’s bed management system/transfer center at the Patient Placement Center, which is staffed with experienced registered nurses that track the status and manage all 2,700 beds in the Baptist system. 

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