Abbott EMS of Illinois, a Mission Care Company, today rolled out the first Specialty Care Transport (SCT) ambulance for the inter-facility transport of high acuity adult patients in the Metro East area. In announcing the new service, during ceremonies at the St. Clair County Government Center, Matt McCormick, Abbott's president said, "Very sick or injured patients often need to receive treatment at a specific hospital where more specialized care is available to them. The only inter-facility transport option for such high acuity patients has been via helicopter, which can cost five times as much as ground transport and is often not reimbursed by insurance. A SCT ambulance, with its state-of-the-art equipment and crew trained to the Critical Care Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic (CCEMT-P) level, provide not only a safe but cost-effective alternative. Medicare and other insurers have come to recognize the quality of patient care and cost benefits to the healthcare consumer available through the use of Specialty Care Transport ambulances."
David K. Tan, M.D., medical director for Abbott EMS of Missouri and an emergency room physician at Barnes-Jewish Medical Center, echoed McCormick's comments about the safety aspects of Specialty Care Transport ambulance service. "Studies have shown," he said, "that,
for many high acuity patients, the use of a SCT ambulance for inter-facility transports is a safe and appropriate mode of transportation."
Dr. Thomas Byrne, medical director for Abbott's EMS of Illinois operations commented, "I am very excited about the service that is being offered. There is a need in Illinois particularly in the outlying areas for specialized ground transport for the critically ill or injured. After an extensive training period, the critical care paramedics are ready to treat and transport those patients that may have otherwise not had this level of service available to them."
Scott Tiepelman, Abbott's Illinois operations manager, reported that paramedics staffing the SCT ambulance have undergone the rigorous CCEMT-P curriculum developed by the University of Maryland. "In addition," he added, "they are required to receive a variety of continuing education courses to assure their proficiency in the use of the very latest patient care techniques."
McCormick reported that Abbott has invested over $150,000 in its Illinois Specialty Care Transport program. "To assure that we obtained optimal input in the design, staffing and equipping of the new ambulance, we especially involved our employees and our clients in that process." He added, "The outcome is a vehicle having a patient care environment that is the result of substantial thought by a variety of caring EMS and other healthcare professionals."
In addition to Abbott's Missouri service area, the company serves specific venues over 1200 square miles and 11 communities and fire districts within St. Clair and Madison Counties in Illinois. With 530 employees and a fleet of 90 ambulances, Abbott EMS annually logs over 85,000 patient transports.
For more information about Abbott EMS and its Specialty Care Transport Program, contact Bjorn Thommesen, Abbott's director of business development at (314) 768-4166 or