Hospital Discharge Transportation

Hospital Discharge Transportation

Hospital Discharge Transportation Hospital Discharge Transportation From Flying Angels A trip to the hospital can easily become a stressful, anxious experience. While patients and family members focus on medical treatment and the patient’s health, they may not have...
Hospital Discharge Planning

Hospital Discharge Planning

A healthcare situation that requires a trip to the hospital can be an anxiety-inducing, stressful time for families. It’s only natural that everyone focuses on the medical treatment and doesn’t give much thought to hospital discharge planning.

But how people plan for what happens when they leave the hospital after discharge plays an important role in their health going forward. Over the years, experts have learned that better hospital discharge planning leads to better health outcomes.

Everyone plays a role in hospital discharge planning. This includes patients, family, caregivers and healthcare providers. The following looks at some of the key points when you leave the hospital after discharge. All are important factors to consider for hospital discharge planning.

Top 10 Hospitals in the U.S.

What Happens When You Get Discharged From a Hospital?

Only a doctor can authorize a patient to get released from the hospital. In most hospitals, a hospital worker meets with patients and family to deliver discharge instructions. This could be a social worker, nurse, case manager or other healthcare professional. They will go over information they need to make the transition home. They show patients paperwork that lists all the procedures and treatments received. Patients need to verify the accuracy of the information, because it’s what they base a hospital bill on. 

What Is Hospital Discharge Planning?

Hospital discharge planning involves a process for making a plan in advance on all the issues involved in transitioning from the hospital to home. For the hospital, discharge involves a team approach. That should also be the case with patients. 

Hospital discharge planning typically breaks down into the following three major areas. 

Asking Questions

When meeting with the hospital discharge planner, it’s important to have questions ready. Some of the typical questions patients need answered include:

  • What’s my medical condition status?
  • When do I need to see the doctor again?
  • What are the details on the medication I am taking once I get home?
  • How do I operate any equipment I need (wheelchairs, walkers, etc.)?
  • How active can I be after discharge, or how long should I wait to be active after discharge?

Transportation Home

Patients either transition to their home or to another care facility. In either case, safe transportation is needed. Some prefer turning to professional non-emergency medical transport such as Flying Angels to handle these trips. They provide experienced nurses to travel with patients and ensure they receive quality medical care as they transition out of the hospital.

How Do You Book Medical Travel?

Help at Home

Another key issue for patients is planning for care once they get back home. Some of the common needs include cleaning the house, cooking, shopping, laundry, personal care if needed (such as help with bathing and dressing), emotional care and healthcare (such as managing medications). Hospital representatives should have information about government-funded services and non-profit organizations that can help with such services. Family and friends can also help track down different services.

If a patient thinks they will need to hire services, don’t wait until the last minute and make a hasty decision. Prices and level of service vary greatly in this area. It’s important to take some time and look around for the best choice to fit your circumstances. Planning on these key issues can give patients a level of comfort they need as they prepare to transition back home. Patients do well to take the initiative and plan ahead. That ensures they make a safe and healthy transition when they leave the hospital after discharge.

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What is Hospital Discharge Transportation?

What is Hospital Discharge Transportation?

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Hospital discharge transportation involves the methods used to transport a patient from the hospital to their home, a rehabilitation center, nursing home or other care facility. How hospitals and patients handle hospital discharge transportation is a key element to the success of overall medical treatment.

It’s an issue that all healthcare providers address. Hospital discharge transportation is seen as part of a comprehensive approach to patient care. That applies whether the patient needs medical transportation home or to another facility.

In some cases, transportation may involve having to fly commercial after surgery. This happens when patients are injured while on business travel or vacation. It also is necessary for those who must fly to get care from a specialist surgeon.

How to Fly Commercial After Surgery

Why Discharge Planning Is Important

Medical professionals put a great deal of focus on discharge planning process because transportation from a care facility is a time when people are vulnerable. Every detail of hospital discharge transportation focuses on patient safety, including medical transportation home. 

Also, effective discharge lowers the chance of a patient returning to the hospital because patients and their families are prepared for the transition. That’s why addressing the patient’s traveling requirements is critical.

In situations where flying is involved, hiring a non-emergency medical transport service is often the right move. They provide service that includes making all travel arrangements, including ground transportation, navigating the airport and flight reservations.

They also provide a flight nurse who is certified in aviation physiology and can handle any medical situations that may arise while in the air.

Emergency vs. Medical Transport

How Discharge Planning Works

When working on discharge planning, medical staff find the best way to provide a smooth transition from one facility to another, or to the patient’s home. Only doctors can authorize discharge from a hospital. However, social workers, case managers or nurses often oversee discharge planning.

According to the National Center on Caregiving (NCC), discharge planning revolves around the following issues.

  • Evaluation. Qualified personnel evaluate the patient’s condition.
  • Discussion. A patient or her representative discuss discharge with qualified personnel
  • Planning. Plan revolves around either going home or to another institution.
  • Determining. Qualified personnel determine whether the patient’s caregiver needs training or other support
  • Referrals. The medical facility refers the patient to the appropriate support service, such as a home health agency
  • Follow up. Discharge planning also involves making arrangements for follow-up appointments or tests for the patient.

Many medical facilities continue to work in this critical area, so it’s important for patients to know their options and the challenges involved with discharge. For example, research reported by the NCC indicates about 40% of patients over the age of 65 had medication errors upon release from the hospital. Also, about 18% of Medicare patients discharged from hospitals are readmitted within 30 days. Those numbers underscore the importance of hospital discharge transportation. For patients who know they have an upcoming hospital stay, all options – including non-emergency medical transportation – should be investigated.

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How to Plan Transportation From Hospital to Home

How to Plan Transportation From Hospital to Home

Having to go to the hospital is a stressful experience. But while it’s a great relief when the doctor discharges you, it’s important to have a plan in place that ensures you have safe transportation from hospital to home.

Medical professionals put a great deal of importance on this step of the process. They create individualized plans to maximize a patient’s chances of improving their health once they return home. When planning hospital discharge transportation, there are some important factors to keep in mind.

Get Help Leaving the Hospital After Discharge

Before You Get Discharged

Before you leave the hospital, medical staff develop a plan to make the transition from the hospital to home as smooth as possible. They evaluate a patient’s condition, refer the patient to needed healthcare and make arrangements for follow-up appointments.

About 18 percent of all Medicare patients end up returning to the hospital in 30 days. A good place to start in avoiding that outcome is arranging transportation home that will provide the care you need in transit. That applies whether you are getting driven home or must fly home from your current location.

Medical professionals give so much attention to a patient’s transition out of a hospital because data has shown this is a crucial time that will impact how well a patient recovers after receiving treatment.

Medical Transportation Options Explained

The Importance of Hospital to Home Transportation

Everyone – the patient, their caregivers and medical staff – focus on medical treatment when a person arrives at a hospital. It’s often only at the last minute that caregivers and the patient think about transportation from hospital to home. However, it’s important to give the issue thorough consideration. 

Family Caregiver Alliance writes that how transportation from hospital to home is handled “is critical to the health and well-being of your loved one. Studies have found that improvements in hospital discharge planning can dramatically improve the outcome for patients as they move to the next level of care.” 

This also applies if a patient is traveling from home to another medical care facility, such as a nursing home. Those who have limited physical abilities due to injury, illness or chronic condition also will need transportation to future medical appointments required by doctors.

Medical Transportation Options Explained

Arranging Transportation From Hospital to Home

If you’re discharged from a hospital but remain wheelchair-bound or otherwise physically incapacitated, then it’s important to have transportation arranged from the hospital through a non-emergency transportation (NEMT) company. 

Transporting a patient home is a highly choreographed operation involving many parties. NEMT coordinators work with hospital Cases Managers or Social Workers, who interface with Doctors, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, on how to safely transition a patient from the hospital to home. Transitioning to home may also involve coordinating with a patient’s Care Manager who coordinates the needs of the patient once they are home. The goal is to not simply take a patient from one location to another but to make sure that the needs of the patient are met during the transport and that appropriate resources are in place when the patient gets home.

What is Aging Life Care™?

NEMT companies have experience traveling both in ground and air transit with patients who want a medical professional with them. They also frequently manage transportation from hospital to home and will know how to work with hospital medical staff to ensure they meet all of a patient’s needs.

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What is a Long Distance Ambulance?

What is a Long Distance Ambulance?

People use a long distance ambulance to transport themselves or a loved one in non-emergency situations. This medical transportation option ensures patients travel safely by either ground-based transport or commercial air travel.

The main goal in using a long distance ambulance and non-emergency medical transport is to ensure the patient has medical attention during their journey and arrives safely at their destination.

Often, those being transferred are seniors traveling to or from an assisted living facility, cancer treatment center, nursing home or home healthcare facility. They may also have been discharged in stable condition from a top US hospital and simply need to return home.

Top 10 Hospitals in the U.S.

The Value of Non-Emergency Medical Transport

Using non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) is a popular medical transportation option. While it can involve the use of a long distance ambulance, it often involves commercial airline travel, accompanied by an experienced flight nurse.

A trip is generally considered to be long distance if it is more than 200 miles. As the nation’s population ages, there are an increasing number of non-ambulatory patients who require non-emergency transportation.

People use medical transportation for a variety of reasons. They include:

  • Senior travelers taking a vacation or making a trip to see family
  • Those injured while on vacation who are coming back home
  • Patients transferring from one medical facility to another
  • Travelers with a disability or chronic condition that impedes movement
  • Seniors who are moving to a new area
  • Frequent medical conditions for NEMT patients include; Alzheimer’s, cancer, dementia, stabilized bone fractures, post-operative patients and those who are wheelchair-bound.

Those are just some of the scenarios that have made NEMT and long distance ambulances a more popular medical transport option in recent years.

Situations That Require NEMT

Ground vs. Air Transportation

NEMT companies such as Flying Angels can book a flight for patients, coordinate with the airlines and airports along the route, handle international flights and provide an experienced RN as a flight nurse.

That level of service makes air transportation a great choice for many people. Transportation on a commercial airline also means patients reach their destination faster than if they use ground transportation. Even in a non-emergency situation, this is what most patients prefer.

Using a commercial flight with a nurse is also far less expensive than using an air ambulance, which is the most expensive transportation option.  Whatever method you choose, it’s important to know that patients have options when it comes to medical transportation. With the modern services available, patients can quickly and safely reach their destination while enjoying the most comfortable situation possible.

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