health care transportation and health care in transition.

Health care transportation is a systemic process by which patients, critical materials like specimens pharmaceutical supplies and medical records are transported through multiple touch point within a healthcare organization or between healthcare organisations. In which health care during the transition plays a major role.
Healthcare in transition is the movement of patient between the healthcare settings. This particularly in the elderly becomes exacting.
When we talk of health care in transit we are addressing three different areas here.
• The care of a patient when being transported from one destination to other
Patient information being handed from within organization and from the primary care centre to the health care centre.
Transportation of specimens or health care products from research or production site to destination.
The increase in life expectancy increases chronic disease and the burden of care giving also proportionately increases. As extensive hospitalization would mean emotional disturbance to the patient and uptake of hospital resources to more acute cases the need to reduce the number of hospitalization days has come about.
Decreased days of hospitalization does not mean decreased healthcare cost. For this has given rise to the need for post hospitalization physician, professional caretakers, physiotherapists, after care and rehabilitation institutes.
Germany is one country which has tackled this by creating a chain of healthcare centres appropriately equipped, and covered with health care insurance. The government has made provisions for long-term professional homecare and assignments are made depending on the severity of need.
The transportation of patients involves transformation of information which is understandable to the healthcare expert who takes over. This not only becomes complex but there is also a need for standardization. Standardization would mean
• Information between the healthcare practioner and hospital should be precise and should mean the same thing to both.
• Checklist from the healthcare practioner,before handing the patient to the hospital
• Checklist for hospital discharge.
• Standard transition form
• Short but precise, standard discharge summary that is legible.
Many practioners tend to use their own check lists or short forms causing miscommunication. Standardization helps to overcome this.
A discharge interview is important so that both the patient and the caregiver are aware of the level of care giving needed.
In geriatric cases in addition to hospital and care centre maintenance of the patient’s independence also is an issue. Helping the patient retain his/her independence would mean helping him/her maintain his/her dignity. Curb to curb transport facility, home to destination care becomes important.
WHO has adopted towns worldwide as senior citizen friendly towns, these are designed to let senior citizens walk by placing open spaces with sitting felicities. A chain of emergency healthcare felicity is also provided with the citizen being assigned the nearest centre.
To be continued…