A mobile response team will provide direct care and specialized preventive services to patients in the community
Augusta University Health has signed an agreement with Grady Emergency Medical Services to improve inter-facility transport services for patients who need the highest levels of care at Georgia’s only public academic health center. The partnership, effective May 1, designates Grady EMS as the official provider of hospital-to-hospital transports to AU Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Georgia.
This collaboration will equip the health system with expert EMS teams from Grady to operate eight new AU Health ambulances, including a wheelchair-accessible van and a neonatal transport vehicle for critically ill newborns. The agreement also includes non-emergency patient transport between facilities and the deployment of a mobile response team to deliver care directly to patients instead of bringing them into the hospital.
“This is about meeting patients where they are,” said Lee Ann Liska, AU Medical Center CEO. “By leveraging existing expertise, AU Health can offer tailored, affordable, high-impact health care that is responsive to the unique and evolving needs of the patients we serve. We care for some of the most critically ill patients from across Georgia, but we also see many frequent patients in our emergency rooms for more routine needs.”
Grady’s proven experience in pre-hospital care should reduce these hospital trips by taking a Mobile Integrated Health Program to these patients.
“Our Mobile Integrated Health Program will provide several benefits to AU Health patients, including earlier care initiation, the improved ability to self-manage conditions, and less time and money spent on emergency room and hospital visits,” said Bill Compton, senior vice president of Emergency Medical Services at Grady. “Additionally, the mobile EMS teams will reinforce discharge instructions for patients at high risk for readmission, ensure their prescriptions are being filled and assess their living conditions and risk for falls.”
Compton said that Grady also brings technology enhancements to the partnership that include a web-based tool for transport scheduling and real-time tracking of mobile transport. The software also captures data that analyzes historical transports to better predict future patient care needs. Technological upgrades also include state-of-the-art systems to manage inventory control and fleet maintenance for the EMS division.
“By partnering with Grady EMS, we are positioned to offer our patients an extraordinary transport system while demonstrating fiscal responsibility that will help us better meet the needs of all our patients,” Liska said.
Services are expected to begin later this summer. Grady EMS began a similar transportation partnership with Phoebe Putney Health System in Southwest Georgia two years ago. Grady also provides services in metropolitan Atlanta and more than a dozen other counties throughout the state.
AU Health will continue to accept patients brought by Gold Cross, the county’s contract provider, as well as other licensed companies for emergency transportation services.