Before the need for an evacuation even arises, RMI prepares in advance.
Through an in-depth vendor selection, auditing, and contracting process, RMI has built a worldwide medical response network with regional and local expertise.
RMI maintains a network of medical facilities, aeromedical transport providers, medical escorts, and local medical assistance organizations and agents to ensure our evacuation services are ready and able to respond when needed.
RMI's Global Coordination Center
On the first phone call to RMI's Global Coordination Center, a Medical Coordination Specialist will answer the call and triage the situation to better understand the client's needs. From there, a discussion will be had with one of RMI's Topside Physician team members who are experienced emergency care providers.
Once a decision has been made as to the medical appropriateness and need for an evacuation, the Global Coordination Center team moves into action:
- They'll notify the client's Authorizing Persons who are responsible for the patient's Duty of Care.
- They review local resources and contact the most appropriate resource for the needs of the patient.
- Quotes are obtained for services and appropriate financial approvals are received from the client.
- Then they organize the logistical next steps to execute the evacuation.
RMI's Global Coordination Center keeps the patient, client, and any other appropriate persons updated throughout the evacuation, with regular updates and communications as to the status of the case.
Whether a ground ambulance from a local port to a local hospital, a commercial medical escort to move a patient to a higher level of care regionally, or a cross-ocean air ambulance, RMI is prepared and ready to assist.
We Make Sure an Evacuation is Needed
We gather information to support the patient and recommend the safest and most medically appropriate actions. This can result in treating them locally via topside with the support of the on-duty medical coordination specialist.
If it is determined that they do need to be evacuated, we'll then figure out the safest and most effective way to evacuate them.
Evaluating the Situation
It could be that an employee on a workboat 50 miles offshore needs medical assistance.
If appropriate, we’ll help you contact the local rescue agency. From there, we can organize ground medical transport from the port or local heliport and ensure the most appropriate medical facility is engaged and prepared to accept the patient, including guaranteeing payment on your behalf.
Or, perhaps it's a patient in a hospital in Angola that needs a higher level of care. In this example, we would make the necessary arrangements to get them flown to somewhere like South Africa to get the care they need.
Once we know evacuation is needed, our medical staff will ensure that your employee receives the highest quality of patient care.
What Does it Take to Coordinate a Medical Evacuation?
You might be wondering: what does it take to coordinate a medical evacuation? What does the process look like?
The global evaluation process includes:
Medical Facility Referrals
- Combining our internal experience with key medical and security intelligence partners, we audit and provide referrals to audited medical and dental facilities worldwide that can provide the necessary services.
- Just as important, we know which facilities to avoid.
Global Evacuation Coordination
- By accurately assessing and managing risky situations, we often help you avoid costly medical and non-medical evacuations.
- If the need for an evacuation arises, our topside specialists coordinate every step through our network of ground and air transportation providers and medical facilities.
- We work with many audited and internationally accredited ground and air transportation providers.
- We confer with the treating doctor and figure out if a patient is able to travel back to their home country and have several options for repatriation.
- Bed-to-bed road transfers by ambulance or medical car.
- Commercial flights (seated or stretcher).
- Air ambulance.
Hospital Admission, Payment Guarantees, and Assessment
- With approval from the client, we arrange and guarantee hospital admission and payment for medical costs to avoid any delays in care.
- In an emergency evacuation, once a patient is stabilized at the nearest hospital, we assess the situation and determine if they need to be transferred to a different hospital for more definitive care.
Details From a Recent Evacuation
The following are brief details related to a recent evacuation from Mike James, Medical Coordination Manager, RMI Assistance Services.
- The client's location was at sea, smack dab between Brazil and SW west Africa.
- An employee had a broken arm, so RMI gave the initial advice on pain management and how to treat the injury onboard.
- The client asked: where do we take them, to an orthopedic doctor or surgeon?
- The RMI team started making phone calls to hospitals in the Ivory Coast and Liberia; none had the appropriate specialized orthopedic surgeon available.
- RMI found an orthopedic surgeon on Cape Verde and called Cape Verde rescue coordination.
- They couldn't send a helicopter, so he had to take a boat all the way into port.
- It took 40 hours to get him there and an ambulance arranged by RMI took the employee to a hospital to be evaluated.
- On arrival, late in the evening, the orthopedic surgeon was waiting in the emergency department to see the patient immediately.
- The employee was good to go home without surgery and was told to see an orthopedic doctor in their home country.
Client Communication Makes RMI the Ideal Partner for Global Medical Evacuation
What makes RMI the ideal partner for emergency medical evacuations? It's customer service and communication.
- From initial inquiry to hospital delivery, RMI keeps you up-to-date on the evacuation process.
- You'll experience no lulls in communication and receive timely updates.
- With instant access to medical interpreters speaking more than 200 languages, RMI can ensure that communication will not be a barrier.
- RMI's Medical Network Administration team performs regular audits on agreements with higher-level care facilities and medical transport providers to ensure evacuation readiness is maintained.
- RMI consolidates all medical records and logistical details from evacuations and repatriations into the patient's secured electronic file for future reference.