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Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Government Council Report: MedStar update with new facility, new ambulances

Council Report: MedStar update with new facility, new ambulances

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During its work session Tuesday the Fort Worth City Council received a briefing about MedStar’s success from its CEO Doug Hooten.

“It’s a system of EMS, not just an ambulance service,” Hooten said. “We all work together to ensure the safety of the citizens.”

Highlights include:

*Resources on the street – An average of 777.3 unit hours per day in 2019, up fro 689.7 in 2018.

*Average response times from March 2018 to February 2019 have been steady at about seven and a half minutes.

Dual accreditations (re)earned – Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS): Perfect score (out of 109 specific standards) for the third time; only 170 of about 17,000 (1%) ambulance providers are CAAS accredited. International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED): Only 132 of about 5,800 (2.3%) of PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) are IAED accredited.

“Usually they find something, some lint on the floor, but not this time,” Hooten said of the perfect score.

Hooten also noted that only 26 of 17,000 (0.19%) ambulance providers are dual accredited.

The local MedStar received a score of 96.73 in patient experience surveys from the EMS Survey Team, based in Lansing, Michigan. Their five highest scores ranged from 98.51 in the skill of the ambulance driver to a perfect 100 in their services being worth the price.

As for monthly overall scores from the EMS Survey Team over the past year, the lowest was 92.3 in July 2018, and the highest was 97.2 in January. Their most recent score was 93.2 in March.

The billing office analysis from the EMS Survey Team included four scores of 100 from the past year, July, September and December, along with February.

In all, including the medical services rendered once a patient is onboard one of their ambulances, MedStar ranked as one of the best in the nation in services. For example, in rescuing patients from cardiac arrests, they had more overall survivors than the national average.

The company also has 65 new ambulances, Hooten noted, along with groundbreaking for the North Deployment Center having occurred on May 3. The facility will be located at 8928 Medical City Pkwy. and will be 20,000 square feet.

For 33 years, MedStar has used a centralized deployment model, with all units starting shifts and deployed across the service area from a headquarters facility on Alta Mere Drive in Fort Worth. To better serve the far north side of the ambulance service area, MedStar is building the new deployment center between Medical City Alliance and the Fort Worth Police Department’s North Division Sector, which opened in 2018.

MedStar also leads the nation in mobile integrated healthcare, with over 3,000 Fort Worth residents enrolled. The 9-1-1 triage program handled 2,296 calls in the past year, allowing 837 an alternate response, freeing up time and space for those who were in actual need of an ambulance.

The company’s StarSaver membership program has over 2,000 Fort Worth household members. For those who live or work in the MedStar service area, the cost is $69 for the whole household with insurance or $110 without. It covers medically necessary emergency services, and to enroll online, visit www.medstarsaver.org.

The average cost of an ambulance ride is $1,500, Hooten noted.

District 5 Councilwoman sang MedStar’s praises from personal experience.

The way you guys coordinate with the fire department is amazing, and in my case lifesaving,” Bivens said. “I’m your walking advertisement for MedStar.”

Bivens also endorsed the StarSaver program, adding, “That $1,500 taxi ride can change a family’s life.”

She also reminded the council and others that May is National Stroke Awareness Month.

“When you call 9-1-1 and you need an ambulance at house or wherever you are very quickly, there’s no room for error,” District 3 Councilman Dr. Brian Byrd said. “And these guys and gals over there make sure it happens.”

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