UAB’s critical care transport program gets new, upgraded home

CCT has added a fourth ambulance to its fleet, and its new offices feature increased space and improved overnight accommodations for on-call staff.

Critical Care Transportcct 2CCT has added a fourth ambulance to its fleet, and its new offices feature increased space and improved overnight accommodations for on-call staff., a University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital and UAB Medicine-based inter-facility transport program, has moved into new space that will enhance its mission to safely transport patients in the United States and worldwide from one medical facility to another.  

CCT has moved to new offices and team space in the Medical Towers building in Birmingham’s Southside. The new facility offers enhanced computer monitoring of weather, dispatch and security. It also boasts improved living quarters, such as a kitchen, laundry equipment and sleeping rooms for team members on-call who might spend several days in the facility for better response times. The Medical Towers facility also provides CCT for the first time a centralized space for all of its medical equipment, and improved parking for the ambulance fleet.

 CCT will also be adding a new ambulance to the fleet, the first time to grow the number of UAB ambulances. CCT vehicles are rolling intensive care units, capable of providing the same level of care during a transport as is found in a hospital ICU. The new vehicle will have additional improved safety features.  

“There are new standards required for new ambulances, and our new ambulance will meet those standards,” said Laura Lee Demmons, director of CCT. “There are new procedures for how the patient stretcher is locked in and securing medical equipment. The new standards make the ambulance safer for both patients and our medical team.” 

CCT, a division of the Department of Emergency Medicine in the UAB School of Medicine, operates a Cessna Citation Bravo aircraft and will have four specially equipped ground ambulances when the new unit is online in spring 2021. The aircraft and ground vehicles are capable of transporting the sickest patients requiring the most complex care. The team has carried out more than 53,000 medical transports, covering 43 million miles, 46 states and 38 countries. The program has been in place since 1983.

cct.3A bank of computer monitors allows for real-time weather information, security and dispatch.The program received accreditation for the eighth consecutive three-year period earlier this year by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems, an international peer-review organization dedicated to improving patient care and safety.

CAMTS cited the program for a positive safety culture and an enviable degree of transparency and trust throughout the program, according to the accreditation decision letter. CCT was also noted for its work with deceased organ donor transport, contributing to increased organ transplantation. CAMTS also cited CCT’s strong emphasis on safety event reporting and identification of solutions to prevent recurrence.

CCT documentation was also in the CAMTS 7th Edition Best Practices for international transport guidelines, quality management plan, quality management minutes, utilization review summary and three examples of neonatal human patient simulator scenarios.