Did Uber Just Reinvent the Ambulance?

March 7, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​​​Uber, the popular ride-sharing app, announced that it is teaming with healthcare organizations to help transport patients to and from their medical appointments, according to a March 1, 2018, article in NPR. The growing trend of patients arriving at hospitals via ride shares such as Uber was detailed in the February 7, 2018, issue ofHRC Alerts. Rides for the new app, Uber Health, can be scheduled for patients through receptionists and other staffers at doctors' offices. They can book immediate pickup or schedule as many as 30 days in advance. This means that patients who do not have a smartphone, and thus could not otherwise use Uber, can become Uber customers. Uber Health says that it will send riders information through a text message rather than an app. The company is also working on a way to reach riders through landline phones, according to the article. "Transportation barriers are the greatest for vulnerable populations," said the general manager of Uber Health in the article. "This service will provide reliable, comfortable transportation for patients."

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