New advocates are often surprised to hear the advice, “Never transport a patient yourself.”
At first it seems like transportation would be a great service to provide, especially to seniors who may no longer want to, or be able to, drive themselves. How convenient for their patient advocate to provide transportation!
But let’s examine the idea for a moment, and you’ll see why transporting a client is a bad idea.
First, you aren’t insured to drive people professionally. Transporting a client isn’t the same as taking a friend or loved one somewhere; it’s a professional service. As such, if you were to be in an accident – whether or not the accident was your fault (think someone slamming into you, or think icy roads) – you would be liable…
Which takes us to our second point. That is, that not only doesn’t your auto insurance cover you (unless you have purchased auto insurance for providing business-related transportation), but your advocacy professional liability insurance won’t cover you either. In fact, if your professional liability (or errors & omissions) insurer were to discover you were providing transportation without that coverage, then they might cancel your liability insurance.
Next, if you think it through, there are so many things that can go wrong! Your client might fall trying to get into or out of your car. Your client might get his finger slammed in the door. Your client might have some sort of medical episode. You might even get stuck in traffic, which can create it’s own problems.
Finally, whether or not it’s true, your client might decide she doesn’t like how you drive, leading to judgement-passing on your abilities, and therefore leading to a loss of trust. Why would you want to go there?
So – if you won’t be providing transportation, how can you be helpful instead?
Help your client by arranging for her transportation.
- Help her make a list of family or friends she can ask.
- Hire a medical van to pick her up. This service is available in many communities large and small, and is usually quite inexpensive.
- Or meet her with an Uber or Lyft or cab driver, watch as they help her into the car, then drive yourself and meet her at the appointment.
Be smart about the services you offer. Driving a client is one of those that, the minute you give it deeper thought, you realize just isn’t worth it.
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