Ground, air transport project will link region’s hospitals

Greater coordination will improve patient care, safety

Over the past year, the UVM Health Network has been working with ground and air ambulance providers in the region to develop a Regional Transport System (RTS) that improves outcomes by getting patients to the right hospital as soon and as safely as possible, using the right mode of transportation.

As part of this work, we have entered into an agreement with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for air ambulance transport.

When a hospital in New York State needs to transfer a critically ill patient, that journey can often take up to a full day. The goal of the RTS is to treat patients as close to home as possible at a hospital that can provide the lifesaving care they need. Over the course of a year, there are 6,500 UVM Health Network hospital-to-hospital transports in our region.

An improved system will more efficiently transport a patient who needs the services of a Level 1 Trauma Center to Burlington, providing the highest standard of care along the way. Ground transport can involve hundreds of miles – and up to a day of travel. For patients suffering from trauma, heart attack or stroke who require a higher level of care, time can make a big difference in outcomes.

Dartmouth will expand its current air ambulance program to include a base of operations in the Burlington area. The UVM Health Network will supply the onboard clinical team for a helicopter provided by Dartmouth’s DHART helicopter services and also is providing a medical director for the program.

This program reflects the UVM Health Network’s philosophy that our number one responsibility is to the patients and families we serve.

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