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iPMI Magazine Speaks with Mr. Guillermo Tejada, CEO, AeroMedical Escort Services

iPMI Magazine Speaks with Mr. Guillermo Tejada, CEO, AeroMedical Escort Services

International Private Medical Insurance Magazine speaks with the CEO and President Mr. Guillermo Tejada at AeroMedical Escort Services. We talk about his 20 years of working experience in the medical transport industry, with a wide range of experience in Critical Care Management, Air Ambulance Fixed Wing, Pediatric Helicopter Critical Care and Emergency Medical Services with the NYC Fire Department.

Please introduce yourself and your background in the Medical Transportation industry:

My name is Guillermo Tejada the Founder and CEO of AeroMedical Escort Services. I'm a 20 plus year veteran in the medical transport industry and Emergency Medical Services profession. I'm a native New Yorker currently living in the Sunshine State of Florida. I Graduated from Saint Vincent School of Emergency medicine in New York City as a Paramedic and in addition finished the Critical Care Medical Transport Program from the University of Maryland. After graduating as a paramedic in 1990 I began my Career with the New York City Fire Department Emergency Medical Service unit. Having worked emergency calls in the streets of NYC and being involved in the rescue efforts of several disasters, such as the unfortunate incident of September 11 and the recovery of victims in New Orleans from hurricane Katrina, gave me the experience of emergency management and knowledge of critical thinking while being under pressure. After semi retiring from the Fire Department I decided to move to the Sunshine state of Florida where the weather is beautiful and the summers are endless.

I began my medical flight Career with Omniflight Helicopters as a Pediatric Critical Care Flight Paramedic, flying critical peds from all over Florida into Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. After a one year of service with Omniflight my passion for flight medicine grew and I decided to explore my passion with international repatriation, so I went to work for two of the world’s leading Air Ambulance companies, AeroJet International and Air Ambulance Professional (both now called REVA) based out of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Using the years of knowledge in the medical transportation industry and having the wide range of experience in Critical Care Management, Air Ambulance Fixed Wing, Pediatric Helicopter Critical Care and 17 years with the NYC Fire Department Emergency Medical Services Unit, has position me with the insight and capability to deliver effective emergency management solutions.

Having the experience and passion for what I do made me create a specialize International commercial airline medical transportation company. AeroMedical Escort Services is an international nurse/physician medical escort provider with management based in Fort Lauderdale International Airport, with additional medical operations in New York City and a medical network of nurses around the US. Our nurse/physician medical escort services provides medical assistance to patients requiring medical supervision and/or care while traveling via commercial airlines or private jet.

When medically permissible medical escort is a cost effective alternative to air medical transportation from hospitals after surgeries, accidents and illnesses from and to anywhere in the world. AeroMedical Escort Services is well-staffed with highly trained and experienced critical care nurses, paramedic and physicians. Our flight medical team come from very diverse backgrounds and experience including emergency departments, ICU units, fixed-wing and helicopter transport services. We provide a complete bedside-to-bedside service including medical evaluation, commercial airline medical clearance, scheduling, ticketing, ground transportation arrangement and coordination between sending and receiving facilities.

Generally speaking, who are your clients?

Generally speaking our customers include:

  • Public and Private International Hospitals
  • International Travel Assistance Companies
  • International Hospital Case Managers
  • International government agencies
  • Fix wing Dedicated Air Ambulance Companies
  • Insurance Companies
  • Private clients using private jets
  • Embassies and consulates from around the world
  • Cruise ship Industry

Can you talk us through your medical transportation services?

We are a complete bedside to bedside service, so after receiving confirmation from the client to move forward with the commercial repatriation. Will obtain a fit to fly from the discharging physician and a medical report from the nursing staff at the local facility where the patient has been receiving treatment or rehab. We will receive instructions to follow while patient is being transported such as medication administration, supply of oxygen and arrange any special meals that may be needed. Our in-house travel agent will reserve airline tickets if needed for the medical escort, the patient and any companion members traveling. We will provide an itinerary and obtain airline medical clearance. Coordinate appropriate ground transportation to/from all airports for bedside to bedside care. Our transport coordinators will monitor the transfer every step of the way.

Confirming every detail over international mobile cell or satellite phone, ensuring all friends and family are updated at all times of the transport progress and the patient’s condition. Pre-Flight Evaluation at discharging facility Upon the medical escort arrival to the patient’s bedside, a pre-flight evaluation is performed. They will consult with the discharging physician and nurse all medical information such as special needs and plan of care. As well discuss with family members the details regarding the transport. Ground Transportation to the airport We will determine the type of ground transportation needed to the airport from the facility. This is determined on the patient’s medical condition and what is in best interest for patient care and comfort throughout the transport.

Our Ground transportation arrangements can include:

  • Sedan/Town car
  • Limo
  • BLS/ALS Ground Ambulance

Departing airport

  • At the airport wheelchair assistance is requested. Patient will be transported via wheel chair throughout the airport and when boarding the aircraft.
  • Medical Escort and patient are checked in securing early priority boarding and are expedite through security.
  • For layovers longer than 2.5 hours the medical escort will make arrangements to have the patient taken to the VIP Executive lounge during their layover to ensure the travel process is comfortable and stress free.

During the flight

  • Our medical escort will provide quality medical care, including the administering of medications and oxygen, assistance with meals, bathroom assistance and care.
  • The medical escort will be the patient personal concierge and will monitor the patient during flight.

Arrival at destination

  • Upon arrival at the destination airport, wheel chair or stretcher will be provided for the patient. The escort will assist the patient in acquiring their luggage from baggage claim.
  • A prearranged ground transport will be waiting to take the medical escort and patient to their destination whether it be a residence or a medical facility.
  • A full medical report will be given to medical staff to insure the patient’s continuity of care is maintained for a good recovery.

What features and benefits can your company deliver to an overseas insurance or assistance company?

Our 24-hour-a-day/7-days-a-week operations center is capable of accommodating clients from every time zone in the world for their repatriation needs. We are located at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport, 15 minutes from Miami International and our New York operations is 5 minutes from JFK International. These locations are hubs for many major airlines that cover North, Central and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Having our location in such close proximity to these airports and a medical network of nurses around the US gives us the advantage of having immediate response and travel access to just about any part of the world.

We have an In House Travel Agent for imitated ticketing and quote response. We own numerous US Federal Aviation Administration approved Oxygen Concentrators. Having our own Oxygen Concentrator means we avoid delays and do not have to wait the extra days for airlines to arrange to have oxygen onboard for patients requiring Oxygen during their travel.

Which Geographic locations can you realistically cover?

Being located at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport, having close proximity to JFK and MIA international and having a medical network of nurses around the US gives us the advantage of having travel access to just about any part of the world.

What is important when conducting Medical Escorts on Commercial Airlines?

Costumer’s satisfaction and communication with all parties involved, We take pride in paying attention to details and delivering superior VIP service that exceeds our costumers’ expectations. Having good communication with all parties involve facilitates a good outcome for the patient and a great uneventful transport. Whether it’s an assistance company requesting for their client to be evacuated or a patient in need of delicate care while being evacuated, pleasing our customers and patients is our number one priority.

How do you measure the quality of Medical Escorts?

Maintaining Quality control by reaching out to customers and getting feedback on services received.

What issues are Medical Escort companies currently facing?

One of the challenges reputable medical escort companies are facing is not having access to an accreditation process. In my opinion accreditation is necessary to the commercial reparation industry as it will give recognition to reputable medical escort providers. Having accreditation will drive focus to bringing the commercial repatriation industry up to an international recognized standard. Having commercial repatriation accreditation from EURAMI or CAMTS will significantly bring high standards and a guarantee of quality service to clients in the insurance and assistance market. This will separate "the wheat from the chaff“.

In 5 years time, how will medical escorts be conducted?

There is room for change in the commercial repatriation industry. In five years I believe accreditation and international standards will be set. AeroMedical Escort Services is committed in taking the lead to set the standard in quality service and medical care in the commercial repatriation industry.

Last but not least, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I grew up and worked the streets in the winter cold of New York City, I’ve been to many countries and seen many beautiful places though out the world but I have to admit I think I would stay right here in the Sunshine state of Florida.

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