The Sentimental Journeys Program provides a terminally ill patient with the necessary transportation and medical care that is needed for that patient to complete their final “To Do” list. The hospice patient may want to attend a church service one last time or possibly attend a child or grandchild’s school program. The Sentimental Journeys Program grants the patients that final wish.
Patient Screening The parameters for the patients who can participate in this program are as follows, but exceptions can be made upon consult.
- Eligibility for this program will be determined on a caseby case basis.
- The clinical manager or charge nurse will determine if the patient is appropriate both emotionally and physically for the transportation service. Guidance of the patient’s physician will be requested, if necessary.
- Psycho-social aspects of the family and patient will be screened for appropriateness for the transportation program.
- Patients who have other resources for trips should use these resources, enabling the ambulance service and hospice to use this service for patients who otherwise would not be able to benefit from such a trip due to the lack of transportation resources, complex disease process, and/or mobility limitations.
- Patients who require oxygen therapy might have trip limitations due to the limited amount of oxygen in the portable tanks.
- If there is no family member or friend available and the patient requires assistance with medications during the trip, eligibility of the patient depends on the patient’s capability to administer his or her own medication. An ALS EMS provider may be cleared to administer certain medications not normally cleared by their Medical Director, but by the patient’s personal physician. A separate protocol for pain management medication administration by specifically trained EMS providers should be considered.
- Patient’s trip destinations may be limited to the county or counties covered by the ambulance services jurisdiction.
- Patients who are at risk of imminently dying should not participate in the program due to regulatory requirements for patient care. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis.
Anyone may recommend patients for this service. Hospice Staff, ambulance personnel and select family members will work together on the referral service.
- The ambulance service will provide a schedule of available trip times.
- The Clinical Manager or their designee will confer with the EMS Sentimental Journey Program Director to inform him or her of the request.
- The EMS Program Director will confirm if the time requested is available and will approve the destination. The ambulance service will provide the vehicle.
- After the EMS Program Director’s approval of the trip, the Clinical Manager will offer the times to the patient and their family.
- The EMS Program Director will schedule the EMS providers.
- The transporting EMS crew will call the particular charge nurse to obtain the client specific information, such as the Physician’s orders, DNR order, and all other pertinent information regarding the patient.
Coordination of the following services is required prior to the trip:
- The length of the trip according to the time limit of available 02 depending on the required LPM.
- Assistive mobility equipment required for the trip, i.e., walkers, wheelchair, bariatric, etc.
- Anticipated requirements for additional medications for agitation, nausea, increased pain, seizures, etc.
- Selection of a family member or friend who will accompany the patient in the ambulance. Considerations for this decision will include if the family member/friend can assist in the care of the patient and/or their ability to administer the patient’s medications.
- If the patient has no requirement for administering medications and has no family or friend to accompany him/her, a referral to the Director of Volunteers will be made. Preferably, the amount of time needed to coordinate the volunteer services in one week.
The arrangements for managing the medications during the trip will vary from patient-to-patient. Every effort will be made to administer medication prior to the scheduled trip. If the patient requires medication during the trip, the Charge Nurse will determine whether the patient can administer their ownmedications. If this is possible, arrangements will be made to send medications with the patient. If the patient is incapable of administering the medications, a family member or friend who is willing to be responsible for the medication administration, will be requested to accompany the patient on the trip.
Trip Day Process
- On the day of the trip, the EMS crew will call the charge nurse to confirm the patient’s capability of making the trip.
- Nursing staff shall instruct the family regarding any special needs of the patient such as medication administration and dietary requirements.
- The EMS crew will determine from the family/friend where they prefer the EMS crew be during the visit. For example, should the EMS crew wait in the ambulance or would the patient or family prefer the crew accompany them during the visit.
- Patient should be dressed and ready to go prior to the EMS crew’s arrival.
- All necessary paperwork should be copied and presented to the EMS crew upon theirarrival.
Not all ambulance transports call for emergency lights and sirens. Many patients require ambulance transportation on a non-emergency basis for medically necessary, prescheduled transfers between hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Increased patient travel between specialized treatment facilities and outpatient care facilities, nursing homes and in-home care have contributed to a growing demand for non-emergency ambulance services. Osage Ambulance District offers a full spectrum of options provided in accordance with our patients’ conditions and specific medical needs:
- Basic Life Support
- Advanced Life Support
- Critical Care
- Ventilator Transports
Our non-emergency ambulance services are also easy to access, our non-emergency dispatch line is answered 24 hours a day and they will help arrange the most appropriate level of ambulance transportation for each patient. By providing a variety of transportation options, we add value for our healthcare facility partners.