Henry Ford Health partners with SPLT, Lyft to get patients to appointments

Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System launched a partnership in February with Detroit-based startup SPLT and ridesharing company Lyft to help patients get to their medical appointments, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The partnership focuses on getting patients in the dialysis access center to their appointments. The health system uses the SPLT scheduling platform to coordinate trips to the 877-bed Henry Ford Hospital on Detroit's Grand Boulevard. Lyft provides the rides.

The hospital system chose to focus on dialysis patients because they have a "high enough" rate of no shows, said Michele Richards, director of patient care management and assistance at Henry Ford. For many of those patients, this no-show rate is due to a lack of transportation.

"One of the social determinants of health is transportation inequity. We're trying to address that transportation inequity for our patients," Ms. Richards said. The lack of patient transportation is exacerbated by an insufficient public transportation system in the Detroit area.

The hospital system had 246 instances of patient no shows in 2016. Through May of 2017, the dialysis access center had 130 no shows, and 11 percent of its total scheduled visits for the year were no shows, according to data Ms. Richards supplied to the Detroit Free Press.

The 45-day pilot project, which could expand to a total of 90 days, allows Henry Ford to coordinate its patient transportation rather than pay for individual taxis. The project is limited to 25 patients so the program's success could be proven, Ms. Richards told the Detroit Free Press. The hospital aims to keep the program's cost under $2,000.

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