Healthcare organizations have a lot going on – evolving patient care, building a delivery network, developing and engaging clinicians, adjusting to reimbursement changes – just to name a few. How can an organization assess if patient transportation should be a priority?
Distill the problem’s signal from the noise
Healthcare organizations receive patient feedback in various ways. Scanning this feedback may reveal insights about the discharge or facility transfer process that could include remarks about the transportation process.
Roundtrip’s list of potential transportation signals to help with prioritization:
- Payer mix data: Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) is a covered benefit under Medicaid since 1965. A large percentage of Medicaid patients is indicative of a priority.
- Patient demographic data: Aging populations are less likely to drive a car or access public transportation.
- Patient experience feedback: Patient comments about the discharge or facility transfer process may include remarks about the transportation process.
- Patient safety event reporting: Events or near-misses may be categorized in a way that can identify if a transportation workflow caused the event or could have prevented the event.
- Transportation vendor spend: Supply Chain or Finance reporting (or lack thereof) can indicate utilization and facility budget expenses related to patient transportation.
- Internal Bottlenecks: Patient length of stay metrics or discharge delays may indicate how transportation is bottlenecking teams.
After evaluating the signals, the next step is to see if other organizational initiatives are already addressing transportation. Enterprise performance improvement, Lean/Six Sigma, or length of stay initiatives are a good place to start. Teams championing those initiatives likely reviewed transportation as a root cause and may be currently working to address it. A coalition of operational and clinical stakeholders that are bought in on transportation is the best way to
advance it as an organizational priority.
While every healthcare organization is unique – revenue, patient mix, geography – the conclusion is likely the same. Patients are not accessing their healthcare because they don’t have a ride, and health systems experience bottlenecks when a patient doesn’t have a ride home.
Use Roundtrip’s Transportation Blueprint to build the transportation program that helps healthcare’s most vulnerable populations.