Christine A. Sinsky, MD
This article was published at www.annals.org on 2 February 2016.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and should not be interpreted as an official position of the American Medical Association.
Disclosures: The author has disclosed no conflicts of interest. The form can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M16-0008.
Requests for Single Reprints: Christine A. Sinsky, MD, American Medical Association, 330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 39300, Chicago, IL 60611-5885; e-mail, email@example.com.
Sinsky C.; Helicopters and Hospitalizations: Getting the Primary Care That We Invest In. Ann Intern Med. 2016;164:370-371. doi: 10.7326/M16-0008
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2016;164(5):370-371.
Published at www.annals.org on 2 February 2016
The medical helicopter perched on the road between 2 wintery cornfields in my rural Wisconsin neighborhood. Two ambulances and 4 other vehicles blocked what sparse traffic might come by while the volunteer fire department and pilot stood guard. A stretcher with a neatly folded red wool blanket remained 10 feet from the helicopter. Inside, an emergency physician and a nurse attended the patient.
On the day I agreed to write this editorial about a modest investment to keep patients out of the hospital, I witnessed extraordinary coordination across multiple providers to bring a patient into the hospital, a feat of organization requiring investment in teamwork and infrastructure. First, a ground ambulance transported the patient a half-mile from his home to the makeshift landing pad. Within 30 minutes of the initial call, the patient was in the expert hands of a tertiary care team. The value we place on life is evident in the resources we summon when it is in acute peril.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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