Flip No. 80

On-Demand Medical Transportation

More convenient patient transportation services, inspired by popular ride-sharing models.

By Mini Oo and Jen Schnabel

Developed at Flip the Clinic Lab: Minneapolis

Having available transport can mean a lot for patients who can’t drive, don’t have access to cars, or face a lengthy medical procedure that requires alternative transportation home. But having to schedule rides in advance means that if clinic appointments run late, shuttles can arrive to pick up patients in the middle of their visit. Patients are forced to leave early or miss their ride and receive a demerit mark from the company and insurer, and neither the clinician nor patient gets the most out of that particular visit. Currently, patient transport schedules are often based on a business model that doesn’t align with patient needs.

All of that could change, though, if patients could schedule their rides on demand. Much like with ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft, patients could use their cell phones to arrange rides within a few minutes of when they actually need them, instead of days in advance, making getting to their appointment on time—and staying through the appointment, no matter the delay—easier than ever.

For a pilot of this Flip, the focus would be on patients who make regular visits—for example, patients who go in for dialysis.