The problem of patients missing medical appointments in the United States is of huge detriment to the country’s healthcare industry. It costs the industry millions of dollars a year in wasted man hours. By not showing up without calling to cancel, it causes huge delays in how quickly other patients can be seen, whether that’s the skilled nursing care in Macomb or Mississippi.
In fact, recent research from Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board revealed that 3.6 million Americans are not able to get to a medical appointment due to transportation issues. Needless to say, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.
Private ride-sharing company Lyft is doing its part to try and make a difference. The company has teamed up with Allscripts to help transport patients to and from their medical appointments.
The partnership will allow 45,000 physician practices, 180,000 physicians and 2,500 hospitals throughout the United States to request Lyft rides on behalf of their patients.
This transport method will only be available for non-emergency appointments. Patients are advised to call an ambulance in the case of an emergency.
Benefits for healthcare establishments and patients
It is believed that this partnership will help dramatically cut the healthcare expenses associated with patients failing to make their appointments.
Following the announcement of the partnership, a spokesperson from Lyft said they were working towards halving this problem by 2020.
Gyre Renwick, vice president of Lyft Business, said: “Through a seamless integration of Lyft’s API and Allscripts’ EHR system, we’re empowering clinicians to eliminate transportation barriers for millions of people across the country by making it easier to get to and from medical appointments with Lyft.”
The partnership has been made possible through the integration of Lyft’s programming interface with Allscripts Open platform into the Allscripts Sunrise EHR.
This will create an automated workflow that can arrange a Lyft ride for the patient.
What’s more, medical teams will be able to view real-time data about the patient’s journey, including an estimated time of arrival. Those with skilled nursing care in Chesterfield will benefit.
An innovative solution
Allscripts CEO Paul Black said: “Our Open platform and vision for true interoperability enables us to work with a range of partners to deliver innovative solutions in all areas of care, and we feel it’s our responsibility to provide tools to help consumers access care.”
Allscripts is not the only partnership that Lyft has made in order to improve U.S healthcare. The company had previously teamed with healthcare technology company Hitch Health to improve non-emergency medical transportation.
Other Lyft healthcare partners include Blue Cross Blue Shield, CareLinx, Circulation. LogistiCare. St. Louis-based Ascension and Sutter Health.