Has your loved one accepted help without an intervention but still needs assistance getting to treatment? Our clinical transportation service is designed to ensure that your loved one’s addiction recovery or behavioral issues begins and ends successfully. Assistance in Recovery recommends that treatment-bound clients always travel with a trusted individual, be it from the family or workplace. We realize that each family’s needs are unique and that in some situations it is imperative to place a client with a qualified sober traveling companion to and from drug, alcohol or behavioral treatment to address any special needs which may arise.
Our services provide a higher caliber of supervision for the addicted or disturbed person with a licensed trained agent escort, creating ease of transition and peace of mind for everyone involved in these difficult first steps of the addiction or behavioral recovery process.
My Armor Services Incorporated ( M.A.S. I. ) Licensed Agent Transport Services Provide:
- A licensed agent to escort the patient / addict to and from treatment centers or hospital
- Knowledgeable agents on call to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Progress assurance calls for concerned parties
- Complete travel organization by Assistance in Recovery’s travel agent
- We will assist with treatment admission, organize all the travel, and pick up the addict from their home. We do not leave until the addict is safely connected with the treatment center staff. Our call center staff is available 24/7 and provides updates to the family or hospital staff. Don’t wonder if they got there safe; call us today 1-800-341-0919 to arrange an addiction recovery and/or behavioral transport for your loved one.
Mental Health Protections
Provides guidelines for serving individuals with mental illness to assure rights: record confidentiality, adequate treatment methods, admissions, use of medications, record access, and information about protection and advocacy.
Provides that individuals with mental illness are presumed competent until the contrary can be proven.
Allows for independent evaluation at the individual’s expense.
Requires services be delivered in the most integrated setting possible.
Provides that patients discharged or furloughed from inpatient services be provided sufficient medication until they can obtain new medication in their local area.
Provides that offenders with mental illness may be transferred to treatment instead of incarceration when it is more appropriate.
Allows a guardian to transport a ward to an inpatient mental health facility for a preliminary examination and to consent to the administration of psychoactive medication as prescribed by treating physician.
Requires local authorities to ensure provision of disease management practices with jail diversion strategies for adults with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or severe depression and children with serious emotional illnesses.
Permits the administration of psychoactive medication when authorized by a parent, guardian or court order.
Prohibits a minor from refusing psychoactive medication authorized by a parent or guardian, or discharging themselves from a voluntary mental health facility if guardian or parent objects.
Prohibits the use of certain restraints and seclusion techniques and provides whistleblower protections.
Provides that a person accepted for a preliminary mental health examination may be detained for no longer than 48 hours after arriving at the facility unless a written order for protective custody is obtained.
Provides for a priority system among those authorized to transport patients of mental health facilities.
Our Psych patient transport agents:
Use safe and best practices for field to hospital and interfacility transports of psychiatric patients
Recently, there has been concern about ambulance transport of psychiatric patients. Generally, these kinds of transports fall into two types: The patient is contacted in the field and transported or that the patient requires transport from one facility to another.
A psychiatric patient contact in the field is usually straight forward: scene safety, evaluate the patient, transport or refuse. Often there are many EMS providers and police present.
Does a psych patient need an ambulance?
Some patients just need a ride. They do not require oxygen, resuscitation, medications that paramedics carry, bandaging, splinting, or any type of prehospital care. They only need a ride.
Moreover, EMS has no legal authority from the State to detain anyone against their will. Yes, in a few states EMS has that authority, such as under (Florida’s Baker Act.) If the patient changed their mind about going to the Mental Health Facility and wanted to exit the vehicle on the side of the interstate the right of EMS to do anything except let them out was legally unclear. Patients were not restrained (nor was it appropriate to do so), they were not sedated, and if they were medicated it was with oral medications that they had taken for a long period of time. Again, these were medically-stable patients who needed a ride.
Several times there are difficulties on transport service. As you know the back of an ambulance is a dangerous place, filled with sharp corners, cabinets, objects that can be used as weapons, and minimal opportunity for escape. Medics who attempted to restrain patients who decided to leave the ambulance would get into combat, for which they were not trained. The crew size was insufficient to restrain the patient. Most hospital guidelines call for a minimum of five caregivers to restrain a violent patient. Even a radio call for help might not see five or more responders arrive for 30-60 minutes, if ever.
What are alternatives to ambulance transport?
From the outside, it appeared clear that the local 911 service was the only entity that the hospitals could “bully” into performing unnecessary and probably uncompensated service. I wondered, how did these transfers meet “medical necessity” for payment by Medicare, Medicaid, or other payors?
Retrospective review of the transfers to the Mental Health Facility showed that some were paid for, most were not. We had some discussions about the hospital assuming responsibility for payment for these transfers.
This led to a series of discussions about the appropriateness of this practice and it was ultimately agreed by the involved hospitals that this was not the best way to handle “psych transfers.” The practice used in other states – transport by law enforcement – was adapted for the hospitals. A sedan with a security barrier to protect the driver, as well as secure seat belts, was procured, and hospital personnel handled the transfers.
Interfacility psychiatric transfers are far more complex, especially when relegated crews who may lack training and experience. We ask interfacility crews to decide if the patient should go in restraints, consider whether sedation is indicated, if the patient should walk to and from the ambulance, and where the patient should sit.
If someone is going to a treatment facility, an ambulance is indicated. Arguments that the ambulance is somehow “dangerous” are not made with the patients who put EMS providers at the greatest risk: the disinhibited or disoriented. Thousands of times a day, across the U.S., EMTs and paramedics treat potentially combative patients who are intoxicated, post-ictal, brain-injured, hypoglycemic, demented or intellectually disabled.
No one would think to transport a head-injured patient who has been combative, but needs no further intervention, in a police car. Yet, these are one of the most dangerous patient’s EMS providers come into contact with. A 2009 article in JAMA: Psychiatry found that mental illness alone does not make psychiatric patients any more dangerous than those in the general population. Yes, some psych patients are dangerous, but it is inappropriate to automatically equate psychiatric illness with dangerousness.
I think it is dangerous and misguided to consider psychiatric patients differently than medical patients. Doing so perpetuates the stigma against the mentally ill which, in part, may come from ancient beliefs about aberrant behavior being caused by possession of demons or by evil spirits.
Thinking that psychiatric patients should not be transported by ambulance because they are dangerous harkens back to a dark time in this country’s history and is part of a long history of discriminating against the mentally ill, including lengthy detention, forced sterilization and the stripping of civil rights. It has only been since a 1975 Supreme Court decision ordered that states could not treat all mentally ill people as if they were dangerous.
Thorough patient history
EMS providers need to insist that the handoff they get from a sending facility about the patient they are transferring includes whether the patient has a history of violence; if restraint, sedation, or redirection have been necessary; and whether the patient has previously tried to elope. The sending mental health professional should give a recommendation to the transport crew if restraints are indicated.
Early patient notification of transport
Discourage sending facilities from not telling the patient about their transfer until the last second so as “not to cause problems.” Just before departure is not the time to learn whether the patient is going to escalate.
Patient always on the cot
The safest place for any patient is on the ambulance cot or stretcher with all of the seat belts in use. It has the lowest center of gravity and allows for easy monitoring of the patient. Be certain the side of the seatbelt buckle that reads "PRESS" is turned upside down. Direct all patients to not touch the seat belts. The provider in the back needs to be aware of the patient and his/her hands at all times.
The patient attendant and driver need to have a pre-arranged distress signal that indicates things are going south in the back and that the ambulance needs to be brought to a stop. Any patient who touches the seat belt, for example, is not following directions. The ambulance should be brought to a stop, its location broadcast, and the provider who is driving should come back to help restrain the patient. If needed, all providers should flee and seek cover or concealment from a violent and combative patient. The scene is unsafe.
Restraint and sedation protocols
All EMS providers should have clear protocols that allow for patient restraint and sedation. Indeed, it is incumbent on ALS providers to keep hospital staff safe by adequately sedating the patient before arrival at the emergency department.
EMS systems and providers are sophisticated enough to handle a wide variety of patients, psychiatric and otherwise. Ambulances can be made safe by the providers who work in them. EMS system administrators, chiefs and other stakeholders need to insist on training for psychiatric patient treatment and transport.
- Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital; 2801 Gessner Rd; Houston, TX 77080 ( 832.834.7710 )
- Center for Success and Independence; 3722 Pinemont Dr; Houston, TX 77018 ( 713.426.4545 )
- Sun Behavioral Houston Hospital; 7601 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77054 ( 713.796.2273 )
Our Mission Statement
My Armor Services Incorporated is a dedicated team of professionals who strive to make each intervention/transport, positive, secure, and most of all safe.
It is our mission to treat your loved ones with Respect, Dignity, Relationship, Resolve, Hope, Resolution, Motivation, and Love. That in the moment of critical exchange they were treated with respect, dignity, and love and that they arrive to their designated program safely and in a positive frame of mind.
Principal Office Located at: 12680 West Lake Houston Pkwy. Suite #510; Houston Texas 77044.
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