- Allscripts and Lyft recently partnered to launch an EHR-integrated Lyft application programming interface (API) allowing clinicians to order non-emergency transportation services for patients.
Lyft will integrate its proprietary API into Allscripts Sunrise EHR system to incorporate non-emergency transportation services directly into physician workflows. The functionality will provide an easier way for patients without access to transportation to make it to doctors’ appointments.
This newest EHR-integrated functionality is an effort to assist some of the 3.6 million Americans with transportation issues in getting to doctors’ appointments. Transportation challenges often prevent patients from getting to or from doctors’ visits, resulting in missed or rescheduled appointments.
Lower-income patients are disproportionately affected by this particular problem, with 25 percent of lower-income patients having missed or rescheduled appointments due to transportation challenges.
The EHR-integrated functionality will be available to clinicians through Allscripts’ Open platform.
“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,” said Lyft Business Vice President Gyre Renwick.
“Our partnership with Allscripts is an important next step towards reaching our goal of cutting in half the number of Americans that face transportation issues to medical appointments by 2020, as we work to ultimately improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation,” Renwick continued.
The Allscripts Sunrise EHR platform is a comprehensive suite of solutions designed to meet the needs of large, multi-specialty hospitals and health systems. The solutions suite is built on an Open platform and includes advanced clinical decision support to facilitate well-informed, accurate patient care delivery.
Allscripts Sunrise EHR supports clinicians in inpatient, ambulatory, and emergency care settings, among others.
Allscripts is also planning to integrate its Sunrise EHR solution with Lyft’s Concierge API through key points of care. Any time a patient’s transportation needs are noted in Sunrise during EHR clinical documentation, an automated physician workflow will schedule Lyft transportation services for the patient.
Furthermore, tracking boards will offer providers and their care teams real-time notifications about patient pickups and estimated times of arrival (ETA). Allscripts hopes this EHR-integrated functionality will help to provide a reliable way for providers to schedule transportation for patients.
“Health IT should always put the patient first and this partnership is representative of Allscripts commitment to connecting communities and helping providers deliver services their patients need,” said Allscripts CEO Paul Black.
“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,” Black continued.
Ensuring patients with transportation issues can get to doctors’ appointments on time is one way to reduce problems related to social determinants of health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social determinants of health include the conditions of the places where people live, learn, work, and play. Unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods, substandard education, and transportation problems can negatively influence a patient’s health.
Integrating solutions to certain barriers to treatment may help to improve patient health outcomes in underserved patient populations.
Transportation service company Uber recently launched Uber Health to help patients with medical transportation needs access care.
The service is similarly an effort to address social determinants of health related to transportation problems. Older patients who no longer drive, patients who do not own a vehicle, patients with disabilities, and patients living in rural or remote areas could potentially benefit from the service.
Uber Health offers providers a way to book rides for patients, caregivers, or other medical staff through a dashboard. These rides can be booked at the time of need or up to one month in advance.
MedStar Health, NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, and Yale New Haven Health are among the healthcare organizations utilizing Uber Health as part of a pilot project.