Ambulance plays a vital role in emergency medical care. In-order to be able to provide best ambulance services to emergency cases, NABH has specified certain requirements to be met. As functionally ambulance is related to emergency care, it is suggested that this checklist be used in combination with checklist of emergency department.
Specific points that needs to be taken care of for ambulance are
1. The vehicle should be registered as an ambulance (for each vehicle being used as ambulance)
2. Necessary legal documents should be available and within validity period. This includes vehicle registration, driver’s license, PUC and Vehicle Insurance. (Check this post on 'all legal documents required by a hospital')
3. The vehicle should comply with ‘Minimum standards and guidelines for ambulances, National Ambulance code issued by Ministry of Road and transport and Highways’
4. There should be an un-obstructed way for ambulance to reach till emergency entrance and take a U-turn
5. An identified parking spot near to emergency department should be used for parking ambulances
6. Ambulance should be identified as ALS equipped or BLS equipped. ALS equipped ambulance should be used for transferring critically ill or unstable patients. For other patients BLS equipped ambulance can be used.
7. ALS ambulance must be equipped with necessary resources such as transport ventilator, portable suction apparatus, portable oxygen equipment, ambu resuscitation kit (for adult and paediatric), multi-para monitors, intubation equipment, AED, syringe pumps, IV lines, immobilization devices, emergency medicines etc.
8. BLS equipment should be equipped with basic things like stretchers, emergency medicines, portable oxygen, suction devices, first aid kit and ambu bags.
9. The staff in ambulance (driver and technician) should be trained in BLS skills.
10. At-least one staff in ALS ambulance should be should be trained in emergency medicines and ALS skills
11. Basic functioning of ambulance should be checked daily for things like lights, siren, tyre pressure, fuel etc. These checks must be recorded
12. A list of all equipment in ambulance must be maintained. All equipment must be checked daily to ensure its functionality. The checks must be recorded.
13. A list of all emergency medicines must be maintained in each ambulance. The medicines should be checked for its quantity daily and before every dispatch of ambulance. The checks must be documented
14. The staff in ambulance must have devices (mobile phone, wireless walkie talkie etc.) to communicate with hospital. If mobile phones are used, it must be ensured that the phones are functional all the time (i.e. battery is charged and adequate balance available)
15. Staff in ambulance must be aware basic emergency management skills like immobilization technique, safe transfer of patient, use of oxygen, medication administration etc.