An Evaluation of the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation System of Rural Southern Illinois
The purpose of the study was to determine if disparities existed in the non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) system in the lower 34 counties of southern Illinois. NEMT is described as the transfer of individuals from a pre-hospital care setting to care facilities, and ongoing care transfer of individuals from pre-hospital care settings. Several research themes developed during the study. These themes included an underserved rural population by non-emergency medical transportation, negative health consequences, and an ineffective use of medical staff’s time. Two types of data collection were used in the collection of information about the non-urgent medical transportation system. Qualitative research consisted of three focus groups, made-up of various stakeholders within the medical community. The quantitative research consisted of the collection of 250 surveys from various participating healthcare professionals. The results of the data collected indicated that the rural population of southern Illinois is inadequately served by the NEMT system. It also indicated that due to insufficient non-urgent medical transportation, patients and medical staff alike had undue burdens placed on them because of missed appointments, lack of timely healthcare services, reduced effectiveness of patient care, and medical staff distress.
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