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Safety Considerations For Patients Using Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

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Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is used to transport patients who are unable to travel to medical appointments on their own due to a lack of access to appropriate transportation. There are several safety considerations that patients using NEMT should be aware of to ensure a safe and comfortable ride.
Planning ahead: Scheduling transportation as far in advance as possible allows patients to ensure that a vehicle and driver are available on the day of the appointment, and it also allows patients to have time to make any necessary arrangements, such as arranging for a companion to travel with them. This is particularly important for patients who require a specific type of vehicle, such as a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

Communicating needs: Patients should communicate any special needs or accommodations they may require, such as a wheelchair-accessible vehicle or oxygen tanks, to the transportation provider. This will allow the provider to ensure that the appropriate vehicle and equipment are available for the patient's needs.

Choosing a reputable provider: It is important for patients to research and choose a reputable NEMT provider that is licensed and insured. They should also check for any complaints or negative reviews about the provider. This can be done by checking the provider's website or searching online for reviews.

Safety equipment: NEMT users should ensure that the vehicle is equipped with safety features such as seat belts and airbags and that the driver is properly trained, especially if a wheelchair lift van is required and the driver must secure the wheelchair. This can include ensuring that the driver has a valid driver's license and a good driving record, as well as training in safe driving practices and first aid.

Identifying the driver: Patients must confirm the identity of the driver before getting into the vehicle. In case of an emergency, they should also make note of the vehicle's make, model, and license plate number. This can include asking for identification from the driver, such as a driver's license, and verifying that the vehicle matches the description provided by the transportation provider.

Storing medications and valuables: Patients should keep their medications and valuables with them at all times during the ride and store them in a secure location. This can include keeping medications in a bag or purse that is easily accessible and storing valuables such as wallets and jewelry in a secure location.

Emergency contact: Users of NEMT services should provide emergency contact information to the transportation provider and make sure that they have a way to contact emergency services in case of an emergency. This can include providing contact information for a family member or friend, as well as having a working cell phone or other means of communication available.

Preparing for the trip: It is recommended that users should wear comfortable clothing and shoes and bring any necessary items such as a blanket or pillow for the trip. This can include dressing in layers to accommodate changes in temperature and bringing along items such as a book or magazine to pass the time during the ride.

It's important to note that understanding these safety considerations can help ensure a safe and comfortable ride. Plan ahead, communicate, have an emergency contact, and prepare for the trip so that the patient can be sure that non-emergency medical transportation providers give the highest quality of service.