Seniors living independently who no longer drive often face challenges finding reliable and affordable transportation to doctor, rehabilitation or other medical appointments. In areas where public or private transportation is not widely accessible, this can lead to deteriorating health for older adults, especially among those with chronic conditions.
It is estimated that nearly 3.6 million Americans miss doctor appointments each year because of a lack of access to reliable transportation. But a new Uber service that has already partnered with more than 100 healthcare organizations in the United States hopes to remove this barrier for care with a ride service designed specifically to transport patients. Uber Health allows healthcare professionals to order rides for their patients to and from follow-up appointments. Coordinators can also schedule rides on behalf of caregivers or other staff on demand or up to 30 days in advance using an integrated dashboard.
Patients do not need to have a smartphone or download an app to use this service which is great news for seniors who may not be comfortable with this technology. At present, trip details are sent using a text message but plans are already in the works to allow a landline or mobile phone call to alert patients of their scheduled ride times.
The service can also be used by hospitals, rehab centers, senior care facilities, physical therapy centers, clinics and home care centers. By scheduling rides at the time an appointment is booked, much frustration, confusion and extra work can be avoided. And the number of no-shows, which can be as much as 30 per cent in the U.S., can be drastically reduced.
Click here to learn more about how Uber Health works.