Heritage Valley Beaver announced a new, free service to facilitate the safe and timely transport of discharged patients from the hospital. The discharge van service, provided by Transport U, LLC of Pittsburgh, operates Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and provides service to patients that live in a 30-mile radius of the hospital.
“Oftentimes patients are discharged from the hospital in the late morning or early afternoon but have to wait for a family member or friend to take them home later in the day, usually after finishing a full day of work. This is an inconvenience to patients, especially those living independently returning to their home and a stress to their families and their busy day,” said Linda Homyk, vice president and chief nursing officer, patient care services, Heritage Valley Health System. “The new van service enables patients to leave the hospital at the time of discharge and return home safely.”
The program benefits the hospital and in-coming patients as well. Well-timed discharges enable the hospital rooms to be cleaned and prepared for newly admitted patients, alleviating delays in the bed assignment and transportation to inpatient rooms. This results in decreased waiting time for patients on admission to hospital beds from the Emergency Department and from surgical and procedural areas.
Discharged patients utilizing the program may be living independently, in a personal care home or a skilled facility. Those taking advantage of the free service to home must be able to move independently or with minor assistance. The driver will assist the patient to the house but does not enter the home. The van is wheelchair accessible for more complex discharges and can facilitate those using oxygen.
When patients are being discharged to home after a short stay for surgical procedures such as knee replacement surgery, the patient can be discharged via the van service to their home.
“The family does not need to come to the hospital and wait for the physician to complete the discharge then start the awkward process of getting the patient into and out of the family car on discharge and again when arriving home,” Homyk added. “Instead the loved one can prepare the home for the arrival while the van driver utilizes the van and wheelchair service to bring the patient right to the home’s front door on the day of discharge. Getting the patient back into the home safely and effortlessly, even in inclement weather is a stress relief for the family members.”
The program is funded by the Heritage Valley Beaver Foundation. Interested patients are asked to make Heritage Valley staff aware so the appropriate pickup time can be arranged.
About Heritage Valley Health System
Heritage Valley Health System is a $480 million integrated delivery network providing comprehensive health care for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio; and the panhandle of West Virginia. In partnership with 3,500 employees and more than 480 physicians, Heritage Valley offers a broad range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services at its two hospitals, Heritage Valley Sewickley and Heritage Valley Beaver; in 60 physician offices; and 18 community satellite facilities. For more information about Heritage Valley Health System, please visit www.heritagevalley.org.