Lyft, one of the world’s largest ride-sharing services, is quickly expanding its horizons into healthcare. Using its wide transportation network and unique technology, its offerings in the health services and delivery realm continue to grow.
Most recently, in light of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, Lyft has announced that it will be launching a nationwide campaign to provide rides to vaccination sites for those in need. By forging a partnership with JPMorgan Chase, United Way, and Anthem Inc., Lyft’s goal is “to provide 60 million rides to and from vaccination sites for low-income, uninsured, and at-risk communities, when the vaccine becomes available.”
In a statement, Lyft Co-Founder and President, John Zimmer stated that “Making sure people can get to vaccination sites when they need to is mission critical to beating this virus […] This is an opportunity to use our collective strength to mobilize on a massive scale and serve our communities. We cannot let lack of transportation be a factor in determining whether people have access to healthcare.”
Megan Callahan, VP of Lyft Healthcare added: “Access to reliable transportation represents a major barrier to care for millions of Americans across the country […] In fact, lack of transportation is one of the top reasons people miss medical appointments. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this problem, creating a huge challenge in making sure vulnerable populations have access to the vaccine — especially for seniors living alone, low income workers, and parents with young children. We estimate that 15 million Americans will face transportation issues trying to get to vaccination sites. That’s where Lyft can make a difference.”
The company certainly does have the market prowess to make an impact. With a massive network of both riders and drivers, Lyft’s ride-sharing service has permeated nearly every corner of the country.
However, this is certainly not Lyft’s first venture in attempting to improve healthcare delivery. The company has also developed a close relationship and integration with Epic, one of the most widely used electronic-health-record (EHR) services. With this integration, physicians can “arrange non-emergency medical transportation” for patients directly from the healthcare setting.
Per Lyft, the goals and vision of this program are straightforward:
Increase Appointment Adherence: “Lyft for Epic improves access to care by helping patients get to their appointments on time with reliable rides, capturing potentially lost revenue and reducing missed appointments by up to 27%”
Simplify Day-to-Day Operations: “Your health system staff can launch Lyft directly from Epic without signing into a different tool, helping them save time and focus on what matters most: the patients.”
Improve Patient Throughput: “With Lyft for Epic, you can order a Lyft ride upon patient discharge to shorten wait times and improve the all-important patient experience.”
Indeed, the benefits of this feature are potentially game-changing for patient-care in the short and long-term.
Needless to say, Lyft will likely continue to push forward in innovating new ways to contribute to the healthcare industry. In light of the pandemic and in the general landscape of a complex care delivery system, this innovation may indeed be able to potentially address some of healthcare’s toughest challenges.
The content of this article is not implied to be and should not be relied on or substituted for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment by any means, and is not written or intended as such. This content is for information and news purposes only. Consult with a trained medical professional for medical advice.
*By Sai Balasubramanian, J.D., Forbes*