UVA Newborn Emergency Transport System Team Excellence

As a division of UVA Health’s Medical Transport Network, our dedicated neonatal and pediatric transport team (NETS) recently underwent a detailed review and evaluation process conducted by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) which included a comprehensive document review and multi-day on-site inspection.

The team demonstrated their commitment to consistently meeting or exceeding a rigorous set of guidelines and safety standards that span all aspects of the program, including clinical education, operational safety, communications, documentation, medical direction, and quality improvement. It is with great pride that the team reports once again earning full accreditation!

The NETS team is staffed 24/7 by nurses and paramedics with neonatal and pediatric-specific training.  Clinicians must have at least three years of clinical experience, NICU, PICU, or Pediatric ED for the nurses and field EMS experience for the paramedics. They complete 16 weeks of neonatal and pediatric intensive education and onboarding, during which time they take on progressively more responsibility during transport requests.

Though dedicated to pediatrics, all of our clinicians have the skills and training to handle a myriad of emergencies. In fact, nurses on the team for longer than a year are also certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). All clinicians hold certification in BCLS, NRP, PALS, ACLS, trauma care, emergency vehicle operations, mass casualty management, and hazardous materials awareness. Clinicians also maintain one or more nationally recognized specialty certifications (e.g., RNC-NIC, CCRN, C-NPT, NNP-BC).

Our team is one of the highest functioning in the country; their mission is to work as an extension of the NICU and the Children’s Hospital by collaborating with our subspecialty physicians to bring ICU-level care to the community hospital’s bedside. The team is trained in airway management and procedures and can provide comprehensive non-invasive and invasive ventilation, including endotracheal intubation, high-frequency ventilation, provide inhaled nitric oxide or prostacyclin (Flolan), obtain point-of-care lab work, and even emergent release PRBCs or plasma. The core team even joins forces with our amazing inpatient ECMO team to facilitate remote cannulation and interfacility transport of patients who require the highest level of life support. All of this and more while traveling down the roadway or via helicopter or medical plane.

They’ve established themselves as industry leaders and set a high bar for operational quality. They maintain a 90th percentile mobilization time (time from dispatched to en route) of less than 8 minutes; the estimated national average is greater than 30 minutes.  Similarly, their 50th percentile bedside time (time from arrival at the referring hospital to time en route to UVA Children’s) consistently averages around 45 minutes). Standardizing our practices (e.g., clinical stabilization, crew resource management, hand-off, and communication) has helped ensure safe and rapid transport of even the most critically ill or injured children to the top Children’s Hospital in Virginia.