International Patient Transport: A Compassionate Solution for Returning Patients Home

International Patient Transport: A Compassionate Solution for Returning Patients Home

international patient transport

Injury or illness in a foreign country can further impact one’s health emotionally. When far from home, and working with unfamiliar clinicians, patients will likely find themselves increasingly stressed and anxious, in addition to suffering physically. That’s why international patient transport is an important option to know about.

When people find themselves injured or ill abroad, the services offered by a non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) company, like Flying Angels, offers a great deal of comfort and peace of mind. A compassionate solution to an oftentimes difficult challenge.

Flying Angels provides an experienced critical care flight nurse who travels with the patient, and nurse flight coordinators who will make all the arrangements for the flights home. Medical flight costs are reduced by offering a less expensive alternative to air ambulances.

The Advantages of NEMT for International Patients

The practical reasons for using a NEMT company for international medical flights are many. Chief among them is continuity of care. Those injured abroad may very well prefer receiving medical treatment in their home country where they have established relationships with healthcare providers and a familiarity with the healthcare system and its procedures.

However, the benefits expand beyond the practical. Seeking medical repatriation services from a quality NEMT company offers patients, and their families, the chance to get home in a safe and timely manner. Some of the advantages of NEMT international patient transport include the following.

Support of Loved Ones

Being close to family and friends provides emotional support and reassurance. Having loved ones involved can improve patient outcomes remarkably. 

“Involving patients and families in healthcare decisions about patient care and in hospital and health system policy and programs results in better health outcomes, higher quality of care, lower health system costs, and improved patient safety,” according to a study published on the U.S. government’s Patient Safety Network.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Experiencing an injury, illness or trauma is challenging enough, but when it occurs abroad it can increase a person’s level of stress and anxiety. Traveling back to one’s home country for medical treatment can alleviate the challenge of navigating healthcare systems and cultural differences in a foreign country.

Part of the reduction in stress and anxiety also stems from cultural comfort. When a patient is in a familiar culture, it reduces feelings of isolation and helplessness. It also allows patients to better communicate their needs and preferences to healthcare providers.

A Higher Sense of Control, Privacy

The decision to take the initiative and return home for medical treatment allows a patient to empower themselves. They gain a sense of control over their situation and their treatment plan. Another result of this decision is that patient’s may prefer to receive medical care where they have a greater sense of privacy and confidentiality, away from the scrutiny of strangers and/or a language they may not fully comprehend.

Improving Psychological Well-Being

Research shows that a familiar environment has a positive impact on a person’s psychological well-being, particularly during times of stress. Studies have found that exposure to familiar environments can reduce stress levels and promote feelings of relaxation and well-being. 

Each of these advantages make international patient transport a compassionate solution for those who suffer an injury or become ill while in a foreign country. By choosing a quality NEMT company, like Flying Angels, with quality experience in international medical flights, patients will find peace of mind in knowing they are in the hands of professionals who will help them navigate the entire process and get them home safely.

The Role of NEMT in Patient Centered Care for Long Distance Transfers

The Role of NEMT in Patient Centered Care for Long Distance Transfers

patient centered care

The trend toward patient centered care comes from the idea that patients should have a voice in their care, collaborating with healthcare providers to create treatment plans that consider their preferences. Non-emergency medical transport (NEMT), which provides safe and supportive care for patients while they travel, is often a part of the patient centered care movement.

When they practice patient centered care, healthcare providers demonstrate empathy and compassion toward patients, understanding the impact of illness or injury on patients’ lives. Even those with severe illness or injuries may eventually require long distance transport, which is where NEMT services can make a difference.

For patients who use commercial airlines, NEMT companies like Flying Angels will make the travel arrangements. Flight nurses will accompany the patient on their journey. It’s a safe, cost effective way for patients to travel, while simultaneously providing peace of mind in knowing they are in the hands of experienced healthcare professionals.

What Is Patient Centered Care?

Patient centered care is a healthcare approach that places the needs, and care, of each patient at the forefront. This type of care involves the inclusivity of patients in making their healthcare decisions, considering their unique circumstances, beliefs, and goals. It calls for healthcare providers to work with patients in designing treatment plans.

This approach respects patient preferences, considering their values and cultural beliefs. To bring patients into the decision-making process about their treatment, healthcare providers encourage open communication and empower patients to have a voice in how their treatment is managed.

Patient centered care is part of a holistic approach to medicine that considers the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of health. It recognizes that every patient is unique, with diverse needs and backgrounds.

How NEMT Supports Patient Centered Care

Patient centered care emphasizes healthcare services tailored to meet the specific needs of a patient. Occasionally, these needs may extend beyond the scope of local healthcare facilities, particularly for patients requiring long-distance transfers. In such circumstances, NEMT plays a pivotal role in ensuring continuity of care while upholding the principles of patient centered care.

For patients needing long-distance transfer, accessing healthcare can present challenges. Limited mobility and the stress and discomfort associated with extended travel, can worsen existing health conditions, which in turn can compromise the overall patient experience and treatment outcomes. NEMT services assist in navigating the complexities of long-distance transfers while promoting patient centered care.

Accessibility and Convenience

Providing bedside to bedside service, NEMT enhances accessibility for patients residing in remote areas or lacking reliable transportation options. This ensures that individuals can receive specialized healthcare services without the burden of arranging their own transportation, thereby promoting equity in healthcare access.

Comfort and Safety

Long-distance transfers can be physically and emotionally demanding on patients, particularly those with mobility issues or other medical vulnerabilities. On the ground, specialized NEMT vehicles equipped to accommodate various medical needs, coupled with well-trained drivers, help ensure a safe and comfortable journey for patients and other passengers. In the air, flight nurses bring the necessary medical equipment to care for their patients during flight. Both means of transporting patients offer peace of mind, mitigating concerns about safety and access to care during transit.

Personalized Care and Support

NEMT providers prioritize personalized care, recognizing the unique needs of each patient. Providers offer compassionate assistance every step of the way. This personalized approach fosters trust and rapport between patients and caregivers, contributing to a positive experience.

Continuity of Care

Maintaining continuity of care is essential, particularly for patients undergoing long-distance transfers for ongoing treatments or consultations. NEMT services ensure seamless coordination between healthcare facilities, facilitating timely departures and arrivals for appointments. This continuity of care minimizes disruptions in treatment schedules, optimizing patient outcomes and satisfaction.

In the pursuit of patient centered care, addressing the needs of individuals requiring long-distance transfers is paramount. NEMT services serve as a vital component of this approach, offering accessibility, comfort, peace of mind, and personalized support that focuses on the well-being and convenience of patients.

Hiring a Medical Escort: Essential Questions and Guidance

Hiring a Medical Escort: Essential Questions and Guidance

hiring a medical escort

Healthcare options are expanding and the need for specialized services is on the rise. One area that continues to gain popularity is hiring a medical escort to accompany patients on commercial flights. Whether it’s traveling with an elderly family member who is relocating or ensuring a safe journey for a patient with special medical needs, medical escorts play a crucial role in providing personalized assistance. 

If you’re considering hiring a medical escort, it’s essential to ask the right questions. Here are some top questions to help ensure you make the most of the benefits of a medical escort.

Qualifications and Training

Start by understanding the medical escort’s qualifications and training. Quality non-emergency medical transport companies (NEMT) will have high standards for their nurses to become a medical escort. Ask about their medical background, certifications and any specialized training they have undergone. A reputable medical escort should have relevant healthcare experience, CPR certification and knowledge of handling different medical conditions while in the air.

Experience with Specific Medical Conditions

Inquire about the medical escort’s experience with specific medical conditions relevant to your loved one. Whether it’s mobility issues, chronic illnesses, or post-surgery care, ensuring that the escort is familiar with the particular needs of the patient is crucial for a smooth and safe experience.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Effective communication is crucial in healthcare. Observe how the medical escort conveys information, ensuring they communicate clearly and attentively listen to your needs. Their ability to provide emotional support and establish a rapport is a testament to their interpersonal skills, essential for a comforting and secure experience.

Availability and Flexibility

Understand the medical escort’s availability and flexibility. Determine whether they can accommodate the schedule of doctor’s appointments, treatments or any other medical requirements your loved one may have. Flexibility is essential, especially when dealing with unpredictable healthcare situations.

Transportation and Mobility Assistance

Ensure comprehensive support for your loved one by discussing their specific mobility needs. A key aspect to consider is the capability of the medical escort, especially an RN Flight Coordinator, to manage all aspects of your journey. This includes not just personal assistance but also coordinating with airlines and airports for seamless travel arrangements. For a complete travel solution that covers every detail, learn more about how an RN Flight Coordinator can completely manage your trip, ensuring a stress-free experience for both the patient and their family.

Emergency Protocols

Emergencies can happen, and it’s crucial to know how the medical escort manages them. Ask about their emergency protocols, including how they would respond to a medical crisis, contact emergency services and communicate with family members. Knowing that the escort is prepared for any situation adds an extra layer of security.

References and Reviews

Request references from previous clients or check for online reviews. Hearing about the experiences of others who have used the services of the medical escort can provide valuable insights into their professionalism, reliability, and overall performance. Here’s an example of what an online reputation should look like for an industry-leading medical escort service.

Costs and Payment Terms

Discuss the costs associated with hiring a medical escort and inquire about the payment terms. Understanding the financial aspect in detail will help you plan accordingly and avoid any misunderstandings.

Contract and Terms of Service

Before finalizing the arrangement, ensure that all terms of service are clearly outlined in a written contract. This should include details about responsibilities, expectations, fees and any other relevant information. Having a formal agreement in place protects both parties and ensures a transparent working relationship.

Hiring a medical escort involves careful consideration and thorough questioning. By addressing these key areas and asking the right questions, you can make an informed decision that prioritizes the well-being and safety of your loved one.

Caring for Our Seniors: Empowering Families in Medical Transport

Caring for Our Seniors: Empowering Families in Medical Transport

senior care

Change is a constant, even as people reach the golden years of life. Caring for our seniors often falls to family members who may feel overwhelmed by the amount of time and attention it takes to manage all the details of their elderly family members’ lives. This includes the need for medical transport.

While the term non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) may not sound exciting, it’s a significant help in empowering families to better handle the needs of their loved ones as they navigate the challenges that come with aging. NEMT supports families in all areas of senior transportation, ranging from visits to medical professionals involving ground transportation or commercial airline flights to senior relocation services.

In all cases, safe and reliable transportation is a fundamental requirement, as is having experienced medical professionals on hand to manage medical services and provide care when and if needed.

The Importance of Medical Transport in Caring for Our Seniors

Transportation challenges can pose significant barriers to seniors, affecting their ability to access healthcare services. This issue is especially prevalent for those with chronic medical conditions or illnesses that impact mobility. That’s an important issue, as 19 million Americans report having some level of mobility problems, and 32% of those say those challenges started after the age of 50.

One key element of empowering families in medical transport is to provide them with the necessary education and resources. Many families may not be aware of the various options available to them or may feel overwhelmed by the intricacies of arranging medical transportation.

NEMT Provides Solutions for Senior Who Must Travel

Non-emergency medical transport plays a pivotal role in addressing the specific needs of seniors requiring assistance during travel. These services provide trained professionals who understand the challenges associated with age-related conditions. NEMT can help families who are caring for seniors in a variety of ways.

An RN flight coordinator makes all the arrangements for a trip, a significant benefit for families who are not used to making flight arrangements for someone with mobility issues. Flight coordinators make use of their connections with both airlines and airports, ensuring that all arrangements are made in advance to accommodate seniors, such as getting through security and getting the best seat on an airline early.

A flight nurse then travels with the patient from the moment they are picked up until they arrive at their destination. At Flying Angels, nurses travel to the patient’s home to pick them up, using a customized reclining wheelchair to carry them from their home and into a wheelchair van. At the airport they ride through until they get to the aircraft where they are transferred to a first-class seat, often using a customized transfer sling. 

Services During Medical Transports

When flying on a commercial flight with a flight nurse, patients have the peace of mind of knowing that they are with an experienced nurse. At Flying Angels, for example, flight nurses not only have experience in providing emergency care but also have been trained specifically in providing medical care at high altitudes.

They also provide a pre-flight medical assessment so they can provide the highest level of care during the flight. They monitor the patient’s vital signs and overall condition during the flight, addressing any immediate medical concerns or responding to changes in the patient’s health status. They also collaborate with the airline staff to ensure a smooth and coordinated travel experience.

The dedication and expertise of flight nurses contribute to the safe and comfortable transportation of those who otherwise could not fly on their own. They are key to the NEMT services that allow families to better care for their seniors during medical transport.

Navigating Coordinated Care: A Guide for Families

Navigating Coordinated Care: A Guide for Families

medical transport

Families often grapple with a host of challenges when coordinating care for their loved ones. Navigating the intricate web of medical professionals, treatments and support services is overwhelming. But with a thoughtful approach, families can ensure that their loved ones receive the comprehensive and well-coordinated care they deserve.

Coordinated care is a patient-centered approach that involves healthcare providers, specialists and support services working with patients and their families. The goal is to enhance quality of care, improving communication and coordination among all parties. For families navigating the healthcare system, understanding the key components of coordinated care is crucial.

The federal government defines care coordination as “any activity that helps ensure that the patient’s needs and preferences for health services and information sharing across people, functions, and sites are met over time.” That included safe, efficient non-emergency medical transport, including having to travel by commercial airline.

An Overview of Coordinated Care

One of the first steps in navigating coordinated care is to build a strong support network. This network can include family members, friends and community resources. Establish open lines of communication and ensure that everyone involved is on the same page regarding the patient’s needs, preferences and goals. This support network will serve as a foundation for effective coordination.

Primary care providers (PCP) play a pivotal role in coordinated care. They serve as the central point of contact for the patient and oversee the overall management of health. Establish a strong relationship with the PCP and ensure they are aware of all specialists and services involved in the patient’s care. Regular communication with the PCP helps in maintaining a holistic view of the patient’s health and streamlining coordination efforts.

Maintaining a comprehensive and up-to-date medical history is essential for coordinated care. Compile a detailed record of the patient’s medical conditions, medications, allergies, and past treatments. This information becomes a valuable resource for healthcare providers, ensuring that they have a clear understanding of the patient’s health status and can make informed decisions.

Communication breakdowns are a common challenge in healthcare. Families can play a crucial role in facilitating effective communication among healthcare providers. Encourage providers to share information and collaborate on the patient’s care plan. Additionally, keep a list of emergency contacts and ensure that all relevant parties are aware of it. This proactive approach can prevent delays in critical situations.

Advocacy for the Patient

Acting as an advocate for the patient is a vital role for family members. Be actively involved in care discussions, ask questions, and seek clarification when needed. Ensure that the patient’s voice is heard, and their preferences are considered in the decision-making process. By actively participating in the care process, families contribute to a patient-centered approach and reinforce the importance of coordinated care.

In this advocacy role, the guidance and resources provided by the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) can be invaluable. As experts in elder care, ALCA’s holistic, client-centered approach aligns perfectly with the needs of families navigating coordinated care. Flying Angels, an ACLA Bronze Partner since January 2019, is an example of a service that meets ALCA’s high standards for medical care. Their partnership with ALCA reinforces their commitment to providing quality care, particularly in non-emergency medical transport situations.

Non-Emergency Medical Transport and Coordinated Care

An important facet of coordinated care is medical transport, typically involving bringing patients to and from medical appointments. Non-emergency medical transport companies such as Flying Angels also offer patients the ability to travel with an experienced flight nurse when their journey requires flying on a commercial airline.

It’s a service that can benefit people in many different situations. They include those who need to fly for medical treatment somewhere too far to drive, those who need assistance when flying because of injury or chronic conditions, and seniors relocating to new areas. 

Navigating coordinated care can be a challenging journey, but with a proactive and informed approach, families can ensure that their loved ones receive the best possible care. Building a strong support network, communicating effectively among providers, partnering with a trained and experienced medical transport company, and advocating for the patient are key strategies in achieving seamless and comprehensive coordinated care. 

By embracing these principles, families can navigate the complexities of the healthcare system with confidence and empower their loved ones to lead healthier lives.

Success Stories: Real-Life Cases of Flying Angels in Action

Success Stories: Real-Life Cases of Flying Angels in Action

Success Stories

Flying Angels provides its clients with flight nurses and flight coordinators who rank among the best in the non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) industry. They understand how to provide clients with the safety, security and peace of mind of having expert medical care and travel support.

People can benefit from the many different services provided by Flying Angels, including long distance medical transport on commercial airlines, hospital discharge transportation, and senior relocation services. Flying Angels specializes in the expert medical care and flight coordination that make every journey safe and much less stressful.

What Is NEMT?

The NEMT services provided by Flying Angels involve flight coordinators who make all the arrangements for the journey and a flight nurse who accompanies clients on the flight. They plan ahead with commercial airlines and airports, making any arrangements needed to clear obstacles patients might encounter during their trip.

People in a wide variety of situations use NEMT services. They include the following.

  • People who recently suffered an injury and want assistance while flying
  • Those who have had a medical procedure and require medical support during travel
  • Those with a chronic condition or illness that makes traveling alone difficult
  • Families who want a nurse to travel with older family members when they relocate to a new home

A flight nurse provides care during the journey and offers clients and their families the security of having a trained nurse as a flight companion. 

Examples of Flying Angels in Action

The following offers a synopsis of several success stories involving Flying Angels providing NEMT services. You can read more details about each case on this page of case examples.

Caitlin and Emma

Caitlin had been assisting her mother, Emma, in relocating from her condo in a Florida retirement community to an assisted living facility near Ithaca, New York. The move brought Emma, 82, closer to her daughter and grandchildren. Emma manages well on her own, although with diabetes and some mild dementia she now can no longer live alone.

While Caitlin managed all the logistical aspects of the move, she recognized the need for assistance during the flight with Emma. That’s when she reached out to Flying Angels. The flight coordinator took charge of all the arrangements, from booking the flights to finalizing the plans. A flight nurse accompanied Caitlin and Emma on their trip on a commercial airline. 

The flight nurse meticulously tracked Emma’s insulin supply, which she required every four hours, and kept a close watch on her blood sugar levels. Emma eventually slept during the flight, which landed only a few minutes behind schedule. At the airport, Caitlin’s husband and Emma’s twin grandchildren greeted them. Caitlin took comfort that experts at Flying Angels handled the flight, giving her one less thing to worry about.


After a tragic car accident, Rose lost the ability to move, becoming a quadriplegic before she ever learned to drive. However, with the support of Flying Angels, Rose can fly. She recently flew from a hospital in Kansas to a rehabilitation hospital in Colorado. Her caseworker called in Flying Angels to take care of the trip, taking the burden off of Rose’s parents.

Kim, the flight nurse, traveled with Rose, starting with picking her up in a wheelchair van, transporting her to the airport, and working with airline staff to get Rose comfortably on the plane. Kim monitored Rose’s vital signs throughout the journey and moved her every quarter of an hour. She also fed Rose her meals and ensured she drank enough fluids. She arrived safely, and her parents hope the rehabilitation therapy will improve her life.


Carl required Flying Angels’ services after he suffered a heart attack while biking through the Pyrenees in Spain with a group of college friends. His friends got him to a cafe where they could call an ambulance. Eventually, his doctor back in the United States recommended a clinic in Cleveland for him to go to for rehabilitation. The clinic recommended he get transported by Flying Angels.

As with every case, the flight coordinator took over, managing all the arrangements to get Carl back to the U.S. from Spain. Flight coordinators are also experienced in handling last-minute complications. In the case of Carl, it required getting a new connecting flight after the first flight was diverted due to lightning. Flying Angels got Carl to Cleveland a little late, but well in time to start the road toward recovery.

These success stories, just three of thousands, provide examples of how Flying Angels helps its clients every day. They provide world-class NEMT services that provide people with the medical care and travel support they need to ensure a worry-free medical transport experience.