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Hospitals must document effective use of their resources every three years for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) through a utilization review program. Air medical services remain a large expense for healthcare institutions, so the board of directors of the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) directed the Medical Advisory Committee to develop a document on the appropriate utilization of air medical services. The purpose of the paper was to suggest broad guidelines for the use of air medical services and to thereby help ensure the proper allocation of available resources.
This project generated substantial interest among program directors and medical directors. Early drafts were sent out by regional representatives, and a large response resulted. Many revisions were made before the Medical Advisory Committee met to decide the details of the final draft.
When completed in May 1990, the document was sent out to all program directors and medical directors for their approval. The response was overwhelmingly positive. In July 1990, the AAMS Board of Directors gave its unanimous approval for the document published here.
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