January 2016

In future, the national emergency medical helicopters will take off with a seal of approval from the Danish Healthcare Quality Programme (DDKM)

Since 1 October 2014, the three emergency medical helicopters with bases in Skive, Billund and Ringsted have flown emergency medical missions to serious and life-threatening situations and ensured rapid transport of citizens from peripheral areas of Denmark to specialised treatment in close collaboration with the regions’ other prehospital emergency response services.

The emergency medical helicopters take off in connection with, for example, time-critical assignments to help patients who have suffered a blood clot in the heart on one of Denmark’s many small islands or when there is a need for assistance in connection with major traffic accidents where there is far to the nearest trauma centre.

Accredited at the first attempt

The three emergency medical helicopters are operated jointly by the five regions and have recently celebrated their 1-year birthday. The Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, Svend Hartling, is therefore proud of the seal of approval from the Danish Healthcare Quality Programme.

“I’m proud that Danish Air Ambulance and Norsk Luftambulanse AS have been fully accredited at the first attempt. It shows that the emergency medical helicopters provide a high-quality service and contribute to creating good results for acutely ill and injured patients in line with the rest of the public health service. Danish Air Ambulance has only been in operation for just over a year, but the employees are clearly putting in the necessary efforts,” says Svend Hartling and continues:

“We’re constantly working to be at the forefront of the development in this field. This applies to both the healthcare quality and flight operative quality, where we’re continuously becoming better at planning flights as safely as possible, also at night and in bad weather.”

When every minute counts

The emergency medical helicopter flies approximately 2,600 missions per year at national level. The helicopters operate across regional borders and can therefore fly to assignments in all parts of Denmark when there is a need for quick assistance and time is vital. The healthcare triage and technical dispatch of the three helicopter emergency response units are handled by the five regional Emergency Medical Dispatch Centres and based on joint guidelines.

The external experts from the Danish Institute for Quality and Accreditation in Healthcare have visited one of the helicopter bases, reviewed procedures and interviewed both employees and management. They have also performed audits in which specific patient cases have been assessed.

Facts about the accreditation

  • Danish Air Ambulance has been accredited in the same process as the Prehospital, Central Denmark Region, where the secretariat is located.
  • The Danish Healthcare Quality Programme (DDKM) is a national system for quality development in the public health service.
  • Read more at www.ikas.dk under ‘Brugerundersøgelse_helikopter_2016 Afgørelser’ (User survey_helicopter_2016 Decisions).

Further information

Svend Hartling, Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Regions’ Emergency Medical Helicopters, tel. +45 4026 6887, svend.hartling@regionh.dk

Troels Martin Hansen, Medical Director of Danish Air Ambulance, tel. +45 24621548, troehans@rm.dk