Cerner teams up with Uber to help patients get to appointments

As the most recent health IT vendor to partner with a rideshare company, Cerner will embed access to Uber's non-emergency transport within the EHR workflow.
By Mike Miliard
01:16 PM

Cerner and Uber are collaborating to help get patients to and from their doctor's appointments – addressing a major social determinant of health that hinders the cost-effective management of chronic conditions.

The Uber Health app will soon be available for integration into Cerner’s electronic health record, enabling easy access within physician's workflow. Doctors will be able to schedule a ride for their patients wherever Uber service is available.

Providers can license Uber Health’s non-emergency transportation solutions, helping them better serve patients who lack access to reliable transportation.

A patient’s information – name, phone number and pick-up address – will auto-populate from Cerner technology directly into a ride request with Uber.

The Cerner announcement included a quote from Craig Anderson, director of innovation at BayCare, a Tampa Bay, Florida-based Cerner client. Patients like the service and, from a hospital throughput perspective, Uber Health has been a "tremendous asset," he said. "Our 'discharge order to door' time has improved by 65 minutes due to our ability to provide an Uber ride for patients that are in need."

Cerner notes that some 3.6 million patients aren't able to easily access healthcare because of a lack of transportation. Not only does this hamper the management of chronic conditions, it leads to unnecessary costs thanks to overuse of ambulance services and emergency department resources.

Finding ways to address that key SDOH barrier to more cost-effective care – reducing the number of appointment no-shows preventing needed treatments from being delayed – is critical to good population health management and value-based care.

This partnership is similar to another one announced in 2018 between Allscripts and Lyft, and represents the continuing growth of innovative rideshare partnerships across healthcare.

"Joining forces with Cerner marks a new chapter for Uber Health and our mission to provide accessible, efficient transportation for patients and caregivers," said Dan Trigub, head of Uber Health. "Reliable transportation to and from appointments can help reduce operating costs, patient no-show rates and help improve patient outcomes."

"Our work with Uber Health will give health systems more resources to address some of their patient’s challenges in accessing the healthcare they need," said John Gresham, senior vice president of health networks at Cerner. "Building on more than 40 years of healthcare expertise, Cerner is taking on some of the industry’s biggest challenges to help improve access to healthcare, create better health outcomes and lower costs for patients and health systems."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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