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Hackensack Meridian Health, Lyft launch 1st rideshare command center in US

Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian Health launched the first centralized rideshare command center in the country with its primary rideshare partner, Lyft, the health system announced May 16.

Here are three things to know about the program.

1. The health system's anchor hospital, Edison-based JFK Medical Center, was the first facility to implement the program in which hospital staff arrange rides through Lyft for patients lacking transportation. In the three months since partnering with the rideshare company, JFK Medical Center was able to reduce transportation costs by 25 percent, according to a press release obtained by Becker's Hospital Review May 16.

2. Officials said the command center and partnership with Lyft better allows dispatch agents to monitor patients' rides in real-time.

3. Hackensack Meridian Health plans to expand the collaboration to all of its 16 hospitals. Each campus will be digitally mapped with designated pick-up and drop-off locations, and information will be digitally transmitted back to the central command center. Another program expansion officials expect to embark on involves transporting patients to clinical trials if needed.

"Transportation issues should not prevent anyone from getting to or from a doctor's appointment," said Robert C. Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. "Our centralized rideshare command center allows us to interact often with patients, especially those with chronic diseases, to drive better health outcomes."

More articles on patient flow:
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Power outage at Florida hospital forces emergency transfer of 8 critically ill patients
NSMC Union Hospital continues phased shutdown

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