The Importance of Patient Transportation in Transfer Centers

Kevin Mehalick
transfer center

Get patients to the right level of care at the right time. It’s a maxim for all healthcare stakeholders – particularly in health system transfer centers across the United States. Transfer centers play a crucial role in patient access and patient coordination, and the need for transfer centers continues to grow as hospital consolidation, and clinical specialization takes place. Transfer centers are physical spaces within a health system that coordinate patient movement, oversee bed management, and facilitate clinician-to-clinician communications about a patient’s care. It’s like air traffic control, but for healthcare. 

Patient transportation is an essential function within the transfer center, and Roundtrip is a valuable tool for transfer center agents to transport patients more efficiently with limited resources. Transfer center agents manage patient cases  for example, securing an available bed for a surgery admission, coordinating a discharge to post-acute facility, or facilitating an ambulance trip from a rural hospital to the main campus. The transfer center plays a critical role in reducing crowding in community hospitals and pre-acute settings and maximizing the use of resources (beds, operating rooms, clinicians) in the acute setting.  

In addition to improving efficiency transportation, within the transfer center setting helps attract patients and keep them within your network. Larger health systems that maintain affiliations with an independent community can use non-emergency ambulance transportation to bring patients into the facility for specialized surgery or critical care. Transfer center agents who coordinate ground transportation for a case can use Roundtrip to facilitate that transfer and ensure that the patient is moved quickly once a bed is available, and the referring and receiving physician have conferenced about the patient’s needs. 

Roundtrip’s ability to provide real-time status updates and our full spectrum of ambulance vehicles add significant value to health system transfer centers. Our ride notifications reduce the uncertainty at the main hospital, academic medical center, or trauma center as to when a patient will arrive at their facility, when the room needs to be prepared, and when the care team needs to be prepared to receive the inbound patient. Roundtrip’s marketplace of transportation companies includes BLS, ALS, and CCT/SCT ambulances providing transfer center agents with a supply of transportation companies in the market and the confidence that these vehicles will arrive at the time they were requested.   

Coordination of resources is a mission-critical objective of a health system transfer center. To achieve that mission, transfer centers need a technology solution for managing ambulance transportation and facilitating patient transfer.