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Nearly 90% of patient transport users rate quality measures and booking reminders as important

Non-emergency patient transport users believe it is important for providers to have good quality measures and notify them when their transport will pick them up.

A research poll conducted by ERS Medical has found that patients who use a transport service to and from hospital appointments have rated several quality measures and booking reminders as important service aspects.

87% of respondents said the following quality measures were “extremely important” or “important” with a further 7% of respondents saying they are “somewhat important”:

• Friendliness and experience of the provider and crews;
• Cleanliness and age of vehicles;
• Appointment reminders;
• A caring approach

Additionally, a significant 99% of poll respondents said it was important to know when the patient transport service would pick them up for their appointment.

Interestingly, a similar percentage (96%) of respondents said that if they were comfortable and safe, they would prefer the reassurance of knowing when they will be collected instead of the transport simply arriving (even if this was as soon as possible) without giving them any notification.

Andrew Pooley, Managing Director at ERS Medical, comments: “Although every contract has different KPIs for “journeys on time” – as an example, in our largest contract area, over 97% of our journeys are on time. However, we know there are inevitable delays in a busy healthcare environment with many moving components making up the entire system of patient flow. Effective communication with patients is imperative to let them know when their transport is due to arrive.

We make sure we communicate and keep our patients in the loop – through our booking system that sends text messages or via our hospital liaison officers. This poll establishes what we have always known, albeit via knowledge and experience. Patients want timeliness, but they also want clear communication from their PTS provider.

They would also like the reassurance that their provider is a good quality and reliable one, whether this is reflected in the calibre of crews, the provider’s caring approach or via the condition of vehicles. These aren’t ground-breaking findings for the industry, but these poll results echo what we all have assumed for many years. It’s our collective responsibility to continue to deliver it.”

ERS Medical conducts over 600,000 patient journeys per annum. In the last year, on-board ambulance patient feedback surveys (either completed during or after the journey and sent back to ERS Medical) show that over 94% of the patients transported by ERS Medical were “extremely likely” or “likely” to recommend their service to friends and family.