Ryan Reed, a supervisor in the Internal Transportation Department at St. Luke’s, likes to remind people the pivotal role his staff members play each day.
“The interaction patients have with transporters, it can absolutely make or break their experience as a patient at St. Luke’s,” Reed said. “Oftentimes, our staff members are the first staff patients encounter … and very frequently, we’re the last person they encounter.
“If it happens in the hospital, we’re generally involved in some way.”
Even so, Reed admits that sometimes his staff isn’t really acknowledged unless something goes awry – much like that baseball player who isn’t noticed until he makes an error.
That’s why Reed, who has worked in St. Luke’ Internal Transportation for 22 years, is so pleased his department will get some much-deserved recognition during National Patient Transport Week from Nov. 5 through Nov. 11.
“It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate all the great work our staff members do for our patients,” Reed said.
Crystal Bissell, manager of the Internal Transportation Department, says her team – which includes members in Boise, Meridian and Nampa -- does some heavy lifting each year. The most recent numbers show that the Boise Medical Center alone fielded more than 250,000 transportation requests.
“We move the population of Boise every year,” Bissell said.
On top of that, the department moves people efficiently. Bissell said Internal Transportation started using Epic software in 2015, and as data started getting collected St. Luke’s learned it was one of the top ten most productive transportation teams in the nation.
But Bissell said quality interaction with each patient is a priority with each transport request.
“Even though we’re moving this large number of people, every person we move we want them to feel like they’re No. 1,” Bissell said.
Reed said a key element in making this happen is working closely with St. Luke’s care providers.
“I would never move a patient from a bed without talking to a nurse first,” Reed said. “What do I need to know about this patient? What’s going to ensure the best outcome when transporting this patient?”
That interaction can be a key selling point for potential employees who might be interested in working in the health care industry.
“I’ve got (former) staff working in almost every level of health care,” Reed said. “I’ve got staff in imaging. I’ve got staff that have moved on to become physicians. … I tell people there really isn’t a better opportunity to get an understanding of the in-patient hospital world. You’re working hand-in-hand with nurses, respiratory therapists, imaging technicians, surgical technicians.”
Bissell admits it can be hard work, but she’s proud of the work her department does – and happy about the recognition that National Patient Transport Week provides those staff members.
“We have people who are walking 10 miles a day,” she said. “They’re not stopping at all, but they have a really good attitude.”
Chris Langrill is a writer and copy editor for the St. Luke’s Communications and Marketing department.