Before the pandemic, almost 3.7 million Americans availed themselves of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) services. But since the COVID-19 situation, fewer people opt for non-emergency private medical transport. However, with soaring cases getting reported in the country, NEMT has set some strict guidelines for all conditions. Also, since it deals with sick or partly sick patients, there is a high chance of a significant percentage of the patients being immuno compromised. Following the guidelines become imperative to ensure the safety of the patients riding such transport.
This article shall talk about the protocols that drivers, patients, and caretakers must follow. Without further ado, let us dive right into the topic.
According to the CDC instructions, after each resident transfer, you must disinfect the vehicle properly. It should be thorough using all the products provided to the driver from the organization. He must also follow the rules of disinfection whilst doing it.
Disinfecting the vehicle is very important as it picks and drops patients to several places and thus may expose the vehicle to the virus. And this could latch onto the next passenger if not disinfected properly. This will create a chain of COVID-positive patients. For instance, a non-emergency ride to hospital can subject the vehicle to different kinds of viruses. Thus it is best to follow the guidelines to be safe.
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If a patient reports a driver for not disinfecting the vehicle after a drop-off, he could lose his job and may get forced to pay a fine as a penalty.
Masks and PPE
Drivers must wear PPE kits all the time while transferring patients. They must wear masks that meet the CDC guidelines. Suppose a driver is found not wearing a mask or following any other policies. In that case, there is a helpline for patients to lodge a complaint.
If the driver does not find the proper mask, he can call the centre for assistance and get a suitable mask and PPE kit. It is essential to change the PPE kits according to the guidelines. In the case of patients and caretakers, the rules are somewhat similar. All must wear approved masks.
Drivers should keep the windows open to allow the free flow of air. Unless it is for safety purposes, one cannot recirculate the air in their transfer vehicle. It is not safe to allow the same air to keep circulating in a place for a long time. It gives the virus a chance to manifest itself better.
Residents who are receiving the service must get tested for COVID 19. One should only skip a regular testing schedule if the resident has recovered within ninety days or has taken the completed dosage of the Covid19 vaccine. The vaccine must be FDA-approved.
All drivers should get tested for COVID19 from time to time. The frequency is directly proportional to the positivity rate in the country.
If the driver is found positive for COVID 19, the authority notifies all affected families. Suppose the driver shows no symptoms even after being tested positive. In that case, everyone who has contacted him in the last two days before testing must notify the authorities.
A COVID-positive driver must isolate himself for at least ten days from when symptoms start showing up. If a driver has been exposed instead of infected right away must quarantine himself for a minimum of 14 days and return to work only after that. Irrespective of test results and symptoms, he is supposed to follow this protocol and only return after he is still negative after the window of 14 days.
Why Is It Mandatory to Follow the Guidelines?
With COVID-19 cases hitting the ceiling, all sectors must follow the guidelines to break the chain and help the world heal faster. Neither patients nor drivers must be careless as it could harm both parties equally.
The US government is beginning to buckle up to fight against the virus and is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure the safety of citizens. Thus, if you fail to follow the protocols, it could give you a hard time.