Monday, July 4, 2022

Novant to roll out newly branded ambulances, expand emergency care

Novant Health is rolling out newly branded emergency service vehicles and continues offering expanded services, including at-home access care to help with patient recovery efforts and telemedicine calls. (Courtesy Novant Health)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — The community will see the hues of purple and white accompanying the red and yellow lights of emergency vehicles moving through the greater Wilmington area. Novant Health has rebranded its ambulances to match the four-state integrated network’s color scheme.

According to a Novant press release, the first 50 emergency vehicles already have been repainted and include a phrase to represent a broader mission: “Mobile Integrated Health.”

Novant noted in the release “the umbrella term acknowledges the comprehensive patient care services” now offered at New Hanover Regional Medical Center through its EMS and AirLink/VitaLink critical care teams.

“We want the community to be familiar with the new look so they can get accustomed to seeing these vehicles on the road or responding to medical calls,” said Rick O’Donnell, administrator of Novant Health’s Mobile Integrated Health division.

Teams along the coast travel over 2 million miles and answer 75,000 calls a year, Novant reported. In New Hanover there are 18 ambulances and two quick response vehicles to respond to 911 emergencies.

Care capabilities and the scope of services have been expanded through Novant, with paramedics doing more than responding to critical medical needs. Five paramedics in New Hanover make house calls to help with patient recovery efforts upon being discharged from the hospital.

Telemedicine also has grown due to Covid-19. EMS teams continue conducting virtual visits, including thorough assessments and prompt care that help patients avoid future hospital visits.

“In certain cases involving children, AirLink and VitaLink teams also use telemedicine to connect with receiving hospital physicians to expedite the initiation of pediatric-ICU-level care,” the release noted.

Twenty-person crews operate VitaLink in a seven-county area, while AirLink copters — stationed 24/7 in Brunswick, Onslow, and Columbus — are outfitted with a pilot, critical care registered nurse and critical care paramedic.

Novant teams are a leader in cardiac arrest resuscitation and expedite units of blood via AirLink between hospitals for patients undergoing hemorrhagic shock. They also provide life-saving intravenous antibiotics as needed.

“Our paramedics, emergency medical technicians and nurses provide a phenomenal level of care to our community,” O’Donnell said. “Our professional, compassionate teams are caring for patients before and after hospital stays, and are supporting patients as part of their overall coordinated health care team. We are proud that our affiliation with a large health system helps us better meet the needs of our patients and the community.”

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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