In a big move early on Monday, the ride-hailing service Lyft is partnering with Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: MDRX) to help hospitals and doctors’ offices schedule rides for patients who need them. Lyft had previously introduced this service a couple years ago to health care providers, and now it has even more deals in place than ever.
So if Lyft already has this service established, what does Allscripts bring to the deal? Allscripts is integrating Lyft’s technology into its electronic medical records system, so as to eliminate the need for someone to manually order rides.
When patients schedule appointments, Allscripts system would ask if they need transportation. If yes, the system will communicate with Lyft to schedule a ride for the patient.
The goal of these two companies is to reduce the number of people who miss medical appointments because of transportation issues. Roughly 3.6 million Americans miss or delay non-emergency medical appointments every year due to these issues, according to a 2005 study by the National Academy of Sciences.
David Baga, Lyft’s chief business officer, commented:
It’s very much the next extension of our entrance into health care. We very much believe it’s going to take a collaborative effort, and we think that this kind of technology integration is going to be a critical path for being successful in terms of breaking down those barriers for access to transportation for the patient community.
Paul Black, Allscripts CEO, added:
Not having someone show up is costly for the physician and costly for patients because care is not delivered. It’s somewhat of literally the last mile, or the last lock of health care, getting the patient involved and making it easier for patients to get to appointments.