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Priority Ambulance, Baptist Memorial Health Care honored with national EMS award for innovation

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Priority Ambulance’s system integration with Baptist Memorial Health Care has been recognized with a national award for Innovation in EMS from the American Ambulance Association.

Priority Ambulance and Baptist will receive an AMBY Award for creating a systemwide solution for patient movement to increase efficiency, accountability and patient satisfaction. This solution includes the co-location of ambulance dispatch in Baptist’s Patient Placement Center transfer center. The depth of the integration and the results of the partnership brought the program to national attention for innovative design.

“As the fastest-growing private ambulance service in the country, Priority Ambulance strives to work with our health care partners and communities to help lead our industry,” said Priority Ambulance CEO Bryan Gibson. “Integration to increase efficiency has been an effective trend within the healthcare industry for some time; however, the degree to which Priority Ambulance and Baptist have integrated our operations and the full co-location and integration of the patient transfer center and ambulance dispatch center is truly innovative in the industry.”

“Working alongside the Priority team throughout the integration process has been rewarding for our staff and our patients, and we share in the honor of being recognized by the American Ambulance Association for our collective success,” Derick Ziegler, Baptist Memorial Health Care vice president of hospital and affiliate integration, said. “At Baptist, we continuously strive to lead the way in innovative systems designed to optimize efficiencies and the overall patient experience, and this is just one example.”

Priority Ambulance and Baptist Memorial Health Care first began designing the innovative master services agreement in 2016. Plans were brought to fruition quickly when another private EMS provider serving Memphis facilities left the market. In less than a month, Priority Ambulance introduced 10 Baptist-branded ambulances to serve Baptist’s Memphis campus in April 2017. Today, Priority Ambulance serves more than 30,000 patients each year with Baptist-branded ambulances at 12 Baptist facilities and in six communities, including Carroll County, served with 9-1-1 in West Tennessee and Mississippi.

To coordinate the system-wide ambulance network, a centralized dispatch center was co-located in the Baptist Patient Placement Center. Baptist’s PPC is staffed with experienced registered nurses that track the status and manage all 3,500 hospital beds in the Baptist system while facilitating transfers and assignments of beds from all Baptist hospitals from one central location using TeleTracking bed management technology. Priority Ambulance’s centralized dispatch center answers more than 70,000 interfacility ambulance transfer requests and 9-1-1 calls annually.

By co-locating its dispatch center in this facility, Priority Ambulance added ambulance transport to the functions of the PPC’s capabilities in the areas it serves further enhancing and aligning all mission critical services for safe, effective patient movement among Baptist hospitals, and upon discharge to post–acute levels of care. Adding ambulance to the range of services provided by the integrated health system helped assure consistency in the quality and continuum of care for the patient across all hospitals in the system.

 “With our integrated network, we have seen improvements in every community we serve, including improved transport volume, reduced transfer hold times, better resource allocation and staffing plans, increased accountability and brand visibility,” Katie Morrissette, Baptist Memorial Health Care system administrator for telehealth, said. “We are very proud of the system we have built together and look forward to continuing to work with Priority in the future.”

Through integration and efficiencies, Priority Ambulance has increased medical transportation utilization by 40 percent alone in the Memphis market and 12.9 percent systemwide reducing transfer hold times and improving patient throughput and ambulance on-time performance in emergency departments.

Priority Ambulance and Baptist representatives will accept the award at the American Ambulance Association’s Annual Conference and Awards Dinner in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 2018. At the ceremony, Priority Ambulance also will be awarded the Patient and Employee Safety AMBY for its 2018 safety initiative for in-vehicle safety solutions to improve driving behavior and decrease distracted and drowsy driving incidents.

The AMBY Awards are sponsored by the American Ambulance Association (“AAA”) and recognize excellence in the ambulance profession and the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that epitomize AAA members. For more information and to view full entries for winners in each category, go to https://ambulance.org/2018/08/14/american-ambulance-association-announces-2018-amby-award-winners/.

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