Safety Management Systems (SMS) for Air Medical Services
Angel MedFlight has invested significant time and resources in maintaining our safety management system. We’re happy to say, it’s been a big success. A safety management system (SMS) is essentially a quality management approach to controlling risk. It provides the organizational framework to construct and support a sound safety culture that actively controls its risk exposure. An effective SMS employs safety strategies and practices by developing and implementing a structured management system to control risk and meet legal responsibilities in air medical operations.
A Comprehensive Examination of Safety
The SMS comprehensively examines the functions of Angel MedFlight and the operational environment to identify hazards and to analyze associated risks. These functions include the organizational structure, processes and procedures, as well as the people, equipment, and facilities used to accomplish the company’s mission.
Whether it is a physical system such as an aircraft or an operational system such as scheduling, all company systems need to be analyzed. The SMS reviews each process in sufficient detail to identify hazards and perform risk analysis.
Safety is our number one priority.
Angel MedFlight’s Safety Committee meets regularly to discuss performance data, industry changes, risk management strategies, and safety initiatives. The committee has membership inclusive of all departments including executive leadership, clinical, aviation, maintenance, flight coordination, dispatch, legal, human resources, Information Technology, and business development. We believe having a well-rounded committee with an inclusive and transparent culture provides an environment for greater awareness of the Safety Management System processes and improvements.
Angel MedFlight has a proactive stance on emergency response. This requires annual drills with participation from each department that could be impacted.
AMRM Training - FAA Advisory Circular 00-64
Angel MedFlight has a robust Air Medical Resource Management (AMRM) Curriculum which embraces the FAA Advisory Circular 00-64 philosophy of the desire to “enhance the safety culture within the air medical community by promoting team cohesiveness and adaptation during change through management of all available resources.” All Safety Committee members, clinical, and operations team members are required to take the AMRM curriculum annually.
Curriculum segments include:
- Safety Management Systems Overview
- Just Culture
- Threat & Error Management
- Human Factors/Crew Resource Management
- Emergency Response Plans
- Federal Aviation Regulations
- Aircraft Preflight & Emergency Briefing
- Aircraft Systems Overview
- Emergency Equipment and Egress
- Patient Loading and Unloading & Clinical Equipment Overview
- Infection Control
- Flight Physiology
Pre-Scheduling Risk Assessment
The Flight Coordination Department does a pre-scheduling risk assessment and is reviewed by clinical and aviation to ensure that the transport can be completed safely. Once the flight is scheduled, the flight and medical crew complete a separate risk assessment looking at the operating environment, patient condition, and human factors associated with the flight.
Flight Risk Assessment
The pilots assigned to a transport will complete a flight risk assessment looking at weather, airport, and human factors considerations prior to accepting a mission.
Medical Risk Assessment
The medical crew assigned to a transport will complete a medical risk assessment looking at patient condition, weather, and human factors associated with the flight.