Safe, Reliable Transportation for Hospital Patients in the South West LHIN
LONDON, ON, June 11, 2013 /CNW/ - The South West LHIN is proud to announce the launch a LHIN-wide approach to non-emergency patient transportation services. This approach will provide improved and standardized care and safety for patients who need non-emergency transportation to another hospital while an inpatient. This LHIN-wide approach, a first in the province, was developed with the collaboration and support of all hospital organizations in the South West LHIN.
Non-emergency transportation is used for medically stable patients who need to be moved from one hospital to another. Examples of medically stable patients include people who are no longer critically ill and require transfer from one hospital to another for additional inpatient care or patients who need specific services such as kidney dialysis or cancer treatment associated with their current admission when other transportation options such as EMS are not suitable.
The team who developed the approach included representatives from every hospital organization in the South West LHIN. Their goals for this initiative were to:
- Develop transportation standards for vehicles and transportation staff;
- Create a standardized decision making guide to assist hospital staff to determine the most appropriate services based on the needs of the patient; and
- Educate users on the appropriate way to use Non Emergency and EMS transport services
- Select a common supplier to provide the service across the South West LHIN geography.
Prior to the implementation of this LHIN-wide approach to non-emergency transportation service delivery, there were no established standards to follow, and various transportation providers, including ambulances (EMS), were called upon to transport patients. The primary mandate of EMS is to be available to respond to community emergency calls. Non-emergency transportation calls to EMS could reduce the availability of EMS in the event of an emergency.
Standards have now been developed for non-emergency transportation vehicles, including their on-board equipment and qualifications of drivers. These service standards will also help meet infection control requirements.
The hospitals will cover the cost of non-emergency transportation arranged by the hospital for hospital to hospital transfers
Through an open, public Request for Proposals (RFP) process, the hospitals have awarded the non-urgent transportation contract to Voyageur Patient Transfer Service. Having a single supplier will ensure consistency and reliability for patients requiring transportation in the South West LHIN. It will also make more efficient use of available vehicles than has been the case in the past.
"This non-emergency transportation approach is precisely the type of collaborative effort that will help transform the health care system in Ontario. Standardized equipment and qualifications will lead to enhanced quality of care and safety for all the people hospitalized in the South West LHIN." - The Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
"This initiative represents another example of how the 19 hospitals across the South West LHIN are working together to ensure better care and safety for patients across our communities. This initiative will ensure that patients will receive the same access to and level of care for non-emergency transportation regardless of where they live in the LHIN." - Michael Barrett, CEO, South West LHIN
"It's always a challenge to address the variety of interests among the small, rural, large and urban hospitals in our LHIN. This project has done a masterful job of bringing everyone together and developing standards that will meet everyone's needs - especially those of our patients. I have been extremely pleased with the level of commitment and dedication to this project by all SW-LHIN hospitals." - Karl Ellis, Chair, Steering Committee and CEO Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance
"Having common non-emergency transportation standards will reassure patients that appropriate equipment and well qualified staff is available to transport them. EMS services fully support this development. Since our priority is to respond as quickly as we can to community emergencies having a company that is available to do non-emergency transfers between hospitals throughout the entire LHIN area is good news for everyone, especially patients. EMS services will continue to provide emergency transfers, while hospitals will have a quality service to call for non-emergency transfers between hospitals." Neal Roberts, EMS Executive Chief, Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services Authority and Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs Vice President.
SOURCE: South West Local Health Integration Network
For further information:
Mary Ellen Khan
519 672-0445, ext. 2604
519 672-0445, ext. 2573
Toll-free: 1 866 294-5446