Providers rely on extra safety measures and planning

Original article published by Cliff Mehrtens, Novant Health

April, 23 2020

Transporting as safely as possible

Moving patients between Novant Health facilities became more stressful when COVID-19 spread across the region.

Josh Loyd mug

Dr. Josh Loyd’s job is to keep that movement safe, efficient, and as worry-free as possible. He’s the medical director for Novant Health’s Critical Care Transport and Med Flight programs.

That includes ground ambulances in the Charlotte and Winston-Salem markets that travel “inter-facility,” and that’s usually from a smaller hospital to a larger one. Loyd also oversees the medical flight team (helicopters) that is based in Rowan County.

“The workload has definitely increased as we try to get prepared for a possible surge,” he said. “We determine what level of protection people need in the back of an ambulance, and have to get PPE (personal protection equipment) that’s right for them.”

Helicopter

He oversees the vehicles, but also the nurses, EMTs, and paramedics that occupy them.

Loyd said that for now, one ambulance in each market has been designated for transporting COVID-19 patients. It helps limit the potential spread of the virus. The drawers in that designated vehicle are sealed, and it is decontaminated after each patient’s transport.