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.
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.
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.
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.
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.