What is Medical Transportation? – Overview
Several different types of medical transportation services are available today to transfer patients between healthcare facilities and save lives in an emergency. Medical transportation services are available round-the-clock, every day of the week, including public holidays.
The specific type of medical transportation needed by a patient will depend on the severity of the situation, the mileage, and the patient’s medical condition.
What are the Benefits of Medical Transportation?
Medical transportation services help patients to reach their destinations efficiently and quickly. During transit, there are highly trained drivers, EMTs, and paramedics are on board to provide emergency medical assistance that the patient may need to ensure safe arrival at the destination.
Medical transportation for non-emergency cases can be scheduled in advance to transfer a patient to and from appointments at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. However, healthcare providers recommend emergency medical transportation services for their reliability and efficiency.
What are the Different Types of Medical Transportation?
Medical transportation is divided into two main types – Non-Emergency and Emergency medical transport services.
1. Non-Emergency Medical Transportation
Non-emergency medical transportation is a professional service that transports patients with an injury or health condition that is not an immediate threat to their life. For example, doctors can schedule non-emergency medical transport for patients with a medical condition that does not allow them to travel normally.
In addition, law firms also use non-emergency medical transportation services to transfer their injured client to an interview or court appearance, of deposition.
Here are some of the most popular types of non-emergency medical transportation services available in the United States:
Ambulatory Transportation (Sedan)
Ambulatory transportation is the most common type of non-emergency medical transportation. It is meant for patients who do not need special assistance to travel and can walk around without needing more than basic assistance.
A stretched medical transport service is meant specifically for patients with a back condition that prohibits them from sitting upright. This medical transportation service is non-emergency and indicates that the patient does not require assistance in transit or travel time.
Wheelchair transport services are meant for those individuals confined to a wheelchair or who cannot walk independently without significant assistance. These services are operated by highly-skilled CPR-trained drivers who operate the van and wheelchair lifts.
Patients can get wheelchairs for rent and patients with disabilities receive special consideration. Besides, using a wheelchair medical transportation service indicates that the patient does not require emergency medical care at the time of service.
Medical flight escort services are aimed at patients who are strong enough to travel by air but still need medical supervision as they cannot communicate effectively or are unable to sit upright. Using this service indicates that the patient does not need private air ambulance services.
For this, the service providers arrange flight escorts with a commercial airline. An onboard nurse accompanies the patient and monitors their health throughout the flight.
On arrival at the destination, the nurse caretaker coordinates with ground transportation, such as medical transportation, taxi or the patient’s family members, to get the patient to the designated destination.
Medical courier service is available for hire. This service is used to transport biological matter, such as human blood and organs, to hospitals and research facilities. The courier drivers in this medical transportation service are highly-trained and carefully screened. They also adhere to the strictest confidentiality and privacy standards, including HIPAA.
2. Emergency Medical Transportation
Emergency medical transportation involves transporting patients suffering from life-threatening injuries or health conditions to and from hospitals, homes, and other healthcare/screening facilities. There are several different types of emergency medical transportation services available, including:
Basic Life Support (BLS) Ambulance
A Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance is meant for patients who need medical assistance while being transported. It has experienced EMTs on board who provide EpiPens, bandages, splints, oxygen tanks, cardiac monitoring units, and other medical supplies, if required, during transit.
A transportation representative usually coordinates BLS ambulance transportation before the patient is set to be discharged so they can be transferred to their home or other medical facilities, such as a rehabilitation clinic, assisted living community or psychiatric healthcare facility.
Advanced Life Support (ALS) Ambulance
Similarly, Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance services are operated by highly-trained paramedics. In this medical transportation service, paramedics can administer shots, and medication, monitor vitals and stabilize patients for transport to a trauma unit or emergency room.
Non-emergency and emergency medical transportation services play a vital role in ensuring the safe transfer of patients to and from hospitals, homes, and clinics.
These services are extremely useful when there is a need to transfer patients to home after their discharge date or to transfer patients to another healthcare facility for screening or treatment.