Innovative Technology and Skilled Compassionate Personnel Deliver Access to Care in a Crisis


Global Medical Response deployed a transportation management platform to handle COVID patients in America’s hardest hit areas. 6,000 online medical transport requests for New York in 30 days.
(NEW YORK CITY, New York) Alternative, temporary hospitals provided much-needed relief to New York City’s overcrowded healthcare system during the COVID-19 crisis. These alternate care facilities stood up overnight. Coordinating with all of the front-line facilities for patient transports to those sites could have been a logistical nightmare. Global Medical Response (GMR) met the challenge with a mix of innovative technology and skilled, compassionate employees.

The company’s National Command Center (NATCOM) was activated as the central call-intake and dispatch center for all patient transport requests to and from offsite treatment locations. NATCOM also processed calls for the 911 overflow in New York City and New Jersey. The volume of requests was huge – peaking at more than 1,000 emergency and non-emergency transport requests per day.

From Phone Calls to Online Ordering
“In less than 48 hours we customized and deployed our Access2Care platform for medical transportation management, which allowed health systems, 911 dispatch centers and overwhelmed ambulance providers to place a transport request digitally and have real-time tracking for emergency management transparency,” said Dave Lyons, GMR National Director of Hospital System Solutions.

In a 30-day period, 6,000 online requests for New York routed through the platform. Once an order is placed, those requesting the transport and those receiving the patient have real-time visibility to the status of the transport from start to finish.

A Tailored Solution
The same system was established with the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council (NCTTRAC) that organized a group of north Texas ambulance providers to participate in a Mutual Aid system as part of emergency preparedness planning. Any of the participating ambulance services may request mutual aid online, and the request is instantly broadcast to all participating providers via GMR’s Provider Portal, allowing them to respond with an ETA in seconds.

“This system is ready now, should any north Texas ambulance provider experience a surge in demand for interfacility patient transport or 911 response,” Lyons said.

California, also hard-hit by the pandemic, is using GMR Access2Care and Transfer Center technologies to coordinate intake and transport for the state’s alternative care facilities for COVID-19 surge response.

The solutions GMR developed allow state emergency response leaders to have real-time visibility and an efficient command and control structure that makes for quick decision making as the situation on the ground develops. This technological solution also provides a means to immediately collect and share data, which enables thorough analyses, better planning and informed decision-making.

Compassionate Care
In the effort to ensure its employees’ safety, GMR utilized the existing internal Nurse Navigation Line and medical screening tools. The underlying medically guided protocols allow for efficient screening and assessment of care providers who may have had COVID-19 contact, triage of symptomatic patients, and navigation to the appropriate clinical guidance based on current CDC recommendations. Employees who are navigated to self-quarantine are provided with additional support tools through a remote patient-monitoring app developed by Vivify that allows for active monitoring of symptoms and proactive intervention and additional medical direction in the event of worsening symptomology.

“Our employees are on the front line each day. It is an honor to be on the other end of the phone, answering their questions and helping them track their symptoms and navigate their care through these uncertain times,” said Lisa Edmonson, RN, BSN, MBA, Manager, Mobile Integrated Nurse.

911 COVID-19 Support
The city of Arlington, Texas, began utilizing the Nurse Navigation Line and underlying clinical protocols on March 28. Used in conjunction with Medical Priority Dispatch, low acuity 911 callers are effectively screened and put in contact with a nurse to review their medical needs and determine the most appropriate level of care. To date, 35 of the 83 calls to the Nurse Navigation Line did not result in an ambulance response, preserving strained EMS resources. This support model was activated in a number of other 911 markets in April, and utilization of the COVID-19 response tool continues to grow.

Keeping Essential Employees Working
GMR also developed solutions to help ensure the health and well-being of essential workforces during this crisis and to protect the integrity of their facilities. To better mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19, GMR has partnered with a multinational delivery service organization to provide on-site health screenings at its major distribution hubs. Using a fever-screening platform, EMTs screen employees before they enter distribution facilities.

“These screening systems, which include active and passive systems and approaches, provide companies with the confidence that they can identify employees with above-normal body temperature and systemic fever for further medical evaluation,” Sven Johnson, Senior Vice President of Innovation for GMR, said.” This solution is both immediate and effective.”

In the coming weeks and months, Global Medical Response will continue to develop Access2Care solutions for a post-pandemic society.