Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) recently acquired two new ambulances and established an Inter-Facility Transfer Team (IFTT) to better coordinate patient movement.
The IFTT will be ready to initiate a patient move request within one hour of notification and will consist of corps men, nurses and doctors from NMCP and associated branch health clinics in the area of the Tidewater Market.
“The IFTT will directly support NMCP’s efforts to become a trauma center by ensuring there is an immediately available transportation option for the transfer of patients whose care may be beyond the capabilities of NMCP,” said Lt. Cmdr. Paul Roszko, medical director of the Caladrius Project. “Conversely, the IFTT will also assist in the recovery efforts of service members injured by trauma who are initially taken to and treated at civilian trauma centers in Hampton Roads.”
Historically, when the NMCP transfer center received a request to move a patient to or from the NMCP, it had to call a private or contracted ambulance service to perform this movement. This often resulted in transport delays and potentially left the PNLP without the ability to monitor the quality of patient care during transport.
“IFTT directly supports these efforts by providing the ability to retain complex cases within the MHS (military health system) that add training value to our residency programs and our staff members,” Roszko said. “In addition, there is a need to develop training and sustainment platforms for those who will be tasked with carrying out patient movements or care missions along the way.”
To be part of the IFTT, team members must have at least been certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) by the National Register of Paramedics (NREMT). When equipped with an EMT, the IFTT can perform Basic Life Support (BLS) level transports.
Team members with more advanced certifications such as Advanced EMT (A-EMT) or Paramedic (NR-P) allow Advanced Life Support (ALS) level transports.
Once an IFTT candidate has the appropriate certification, they must complete an orientation and certification course conducted by the Medical Director.
“This course can be 1-2 days long depending on the member’s previous Emergency Medical Services (EMS) experience and ensures they have been trained in the equipment used by the IFTT, qu “He understands the protocols and procedures defined for IFTT and has the skills to operate independently while on a patient-moving mission,” Roszko said.
In addition to IFTT providers, ambulances are driven and operated by individuals with Emergency Vehicle Operator Certification (EVOC).
To be certified, individuals must complete an online course through the Enterprise Safety Application Management System (ESAMS) and then schedule a road test administered by one of the NMCP Fire Department’s EVOC instructors.
“IFTT also welcomes nurses and doctors as crew members,” Roszko said. “We are always looking for motivated sailors to participate in this effort.”
“If you have experience in en route care, civilian EMS or hold current certification as an EMT, A-EMT, paramedic or know someone who does, please contact me as well than Jessica Peppers,” Roszko said. “They will help you orient yourself to IFTT and get properly accredited to start doing patient movement assignments.”
As the oldest military hospital in the US Navy, continuously operating since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, part of the Tidewater Market, serves eligible recipients of the nationally recognized state-of-the-art medical center, as well as the 10th branch of the TRICARE Prime health and clinics region.