May 26, 2022 | Operations, Our Team

Quality Matters

An image of STARS medical staff holding the hand of an elderly patient during transport.


When a critical illness or injury happens, patients need the highest quality care available. Our commitment to excellence has once again been recognized through a prestigious industry designation by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).

CAMTS is a peer review organization dedicated to improving patient care and safety in the transport environment. Certification involves a rigorous review process conducted every three years, examining all aspects of an air medical program’s operation including medical direction, crew education, communications safety documentation, and quality improvement.

“Our patients are at the heart of everything we do at STARS,” said Cindy Seidl, STARS chief clinical officer. “The renewal of our CAMTS accreditation demonstrates our commitment to delivering the best possible care on every mission.”

Part of the reason STARS continues to excel is our rigourous quality assurance practices. One aspect of this is reviewing the case file of every patient we touch. All aspects of every mission — medical care and treatment provided, equipment utilization, and medicine administered, for instance — are subject to a detailed peer and physician analysis. “We view every mission as an opportunity to learn,” said JP Berard, flight paramedic and quality assurance lead with STARS. “Our commitment to improving patient quality has had a very positive impact on the level of care we provide.”

One example of how that commitment has improved the level of care provided is our on-board ultrasound.

“Not only is the value of having ultrasound on board for our patients supported by mission reviews but, because we record every scan, we’re able to review them with our quality assurance team,” said Berard. “We can confirm the accuracy of results and we get feedback from our experts to help make us better every time we perform a scan.”

Last fiscal year, STARS conducted 3,515 missions across western Canada. Each one was reviewed, which is a rare practice across the health-care system. “It’s not an industry standard, but we see huge value in reviewing every mission,” said Berard. “Not only does it allow us to see what else we can do to improve patient care, it gives our crew the opportunity to learn and grow professionally.”

We first received CAMTS accreditation in 1998 and are the only air ambulance provider in the western provinces — and one of only four medical transport systems across all of Canada — with this designation.

CAMTS recognized several strengths, including our emphasis on mental health and wellness, our education and training program, and high performance expectations.

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