Your ER policy on giving rides home - page 6

by psu_213 9,307 Views | 51 Comments

I'll start off with a story that is mostly rant, but does have a question at the end of it. Recently our ER treated a 30-something pt who fell at home around 8am (per her account). Arrived at the ER via ambulance with a friend,... Read More


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    How in the world did this go from do you provide a way home for your patient to us (ER) mistreating people? No, we do not give rides home. Never. It's a liability issue.
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    Quote from psu_213
    Does your hosptial have any written policy on arranging transportation home?
    Short answer: no. No policy regarding this.

    I work at a rural hospital, covers multiple towns, and several counties. Taxis and buses? Hah! The taxi drivers here work bankers hours - roughly 9a-5p, Monday-Friday, no holidays or weekends.

    They are very kind and older folks love them because they'll stop at the pharmacy on the way home, or the grocery store, or help them carry in their milk or bags. But, they are only available during the day.

    What we do? Generally speaking, we don't give rides home. Once in a great GREAT while, one of the ER staff will actually give patients rides home. This is a rare occasion, though there's a doc that lives in a town 20 minutes away that I've seen give at least a couple people a ride just because it's 8am on a Sunday and he knows them, knows they won't get home any other way.

    I have called the administrator on call and had them come in and give patients rides home. I have also called the county and city police (depending on the destination), and they've given patients rides as well. I personally wouldn't let someone in my car unless they were a relative or personal friend. Actually, there's some relatives that, well, I'd probably run and hide or call the county before I offered them a ride...

    That's how we work - I wish we had a policy too. Then there's the once in a blue moon case where we had a patient that had been hitch-hiking for 3 states, ended up in our ER, and we involved social services and got him a bus ticket to where he needed to be (another 3 states away)... because it was the right thing to do. Most of the "responsibility" we assume for making sure patients get home is on a case by case basis. (Like... if you walked or rode your bike TO the ER, you will most likely be capable of walking home FROM the ER. LOL.)
    MassED likes this.


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