- Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems
The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) (pronounced cames), is an independent, non-profit agency which audits and accredits fixed-wing and rotary wing air medical transport services as well as ground inter-facility critical care services in the U.S. to a set of industry-established criteria. CAMTS has accredited 132 medical transport programs in the U.S. as of June, 2007 as well as three in Canada and one in South Africa.
CAMTS first enacted its Accreditation Standards in 1991, which were developed by its member organizations as well as with extensive public comment and input. The Standards are the core element to the CAMTS program, which delares that the highest priorities for medical transport services companies are "patient care and safety of the transport environment". CAMTS accreditation, once granted, lasts for three years, at which time it can be renewed by being reaudited. Preparation for initial accreditation generally takes from four to six months,, as the process examines all aspects of operations, from management to medical protocols to flight operations.
CAMTS' member organizations
CAMTS is an "organization of organizations" composed of fourteen member organizations, each of which has representation on the Commission's board of directors. The member organizations are:
- Aerospace Medical Association
- Air Medical Physicians Association
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Association of Respiratory Care
- American College of Emergency Physicians
- Association of Air Medical Services
- International Association of Flight Paramedics
- National Air Transportation Association
- National Association of Air Medical Communications Specialists
- National Association of State EMS Directors
- National EMS Pilots Association
- Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association
Requirement for accreditation
While in principle CAMTS accreditation is voluntary, a number of government jurisdictions require companies providing medical transportation services to have CAMTS accreditation in order to be licensed to operate. This is an increasing trend as state health services agencies address the issues surrounding the safety of emergency medical services flights. Some examples are the states of Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, Utah,, Michigan and Washington. According to the rationale used to justify Washington's adopting the accreditation requirements, "Requiring accreditation of air ambulance services provides assurance that the service meets national public safety standards. The accreditation is done by professionals who are qualified to determine air ambulance safety. In addition, compliance with accreditation standards is done on a continual basis by the accrediting organization. Their accreditation standards are periodically revised to reflect the dynamic, changing environment of medical transport with considerable input from all disciplines of the medical profession."
Other states require either CAMTS accreditation or a demonstrated equivalent, such as Rhode Island and Texas, which has adopted CAMTS' Accreditation Standards (Sixth Edition, October 2004) as its own. In Texas and Maryland, an operator not wishing to become CAMTS accredited must submit to an equivalent survey by state auditors who are CAMTS-trained. An exception would be the Maryland State Police, who are not accredited.  Virginia, Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma have also adopted CAMTS accreditation standards as their state licensing standards.
Notable accredited programs
- Air Evac
- ARCH Air Medical Service
- Lifestar Air Medical Services
- Memorial Hermann Life Flight
- LifeMed Alaska, LLC
- STAT Medevac
- Air Ambulance Professionals, Inc.
- AirMed International
- ^ Accredited program list from the CAMTS website
- ^ REMSA press release, August 14, 2002
- ^ CAMTS background information, CAMTS.org
- ^ a b Washington Proposed Rule WSR 00-17-181
- ^ Mediplane's CAMTS information page
- ^ a b Robert Davis, "Reconsidering air ambulance usage", USA Today, July 18, 2005, accessed July 13, 2007
- ^ Colorado House Bill 07-1259
- ^ State of New Jersey Assembly Act No. 3786
- ^ New Mexico Register, Volume XVI, Number 24, December 30, 2005
- ^ Utah Rule R426-2
- ^ Washington State rule WAC 246-976-320
- ^ Rules and Regulations Relating to Emergency Medical Services, Rhode Island Department of Health
- ^ Draft of proposed changes to Texas Department of State Health Services rule 157.12, January 25, 2006
- ^ Texas DSHS committee minutes
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