Yeatman is also developing programs at LifeFlight to help improve care coordination among flight crews, paramedics, and ED staff. Vanderbilt LifeFlight is one of the largest academic medical center-based transport programs in the country; it covers an area within an approximately 130-mile radius of Nashville, has a greater than $10 million annual budget, and five helicopters, one airplane, and three transport ambulances.
About one year ago, Vanderbilt LifeFlight launched its iFly program, which strives to help paramedics and ED physicians and nurses learn more about care delivery during the "golden hour in trauma," Yeatman says. For example, the program enables a paramedic to go right from the scene of accident with the flight crew to the hospital. "They can watch the entire resuscitation and we take them into the ED," she says.
It allows them to see the full spectrum of care. Similarly, an ED nurse who has been taking care of a sick child, for instance, can accompany that child as LifeFlight transports the patient to a different hospital and the nurse can follow the care progression.
Often healthcare workers get focused solely on the type of care that they deliver and this program aims to remove that silo impact, says Yeatman. "If [paramedics] know what happens in the helicopter, they can better prepare the next patient," she explains. "They now understand better this is what they do in the helicopter, and this is why they do these things."
The goal is, ultimately, to take better care of patients by improving how paramedics, flight nurses, and ED physicians and nurses work together. "We are all part of the healthcare delivery team," Yeatman says, adding that many healthcare professionals, herself included, are experiential learners who learn best when they can get in there, see it, and visualize it.