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Joy Daughtery Dickinson is executive editor of the Hospital Group of publications at AHC Media in Atlanta and long-time editor and writer of Same-Day Surgery. She has won nine national awards from the Specialized Information Publishers Association and the Association of Business Information & Media Companies for her blogging, news writing, and editing. She makes her home in southwest Georgia.
I recently had the opportunity to ride in an Uber driver’s car. Clean? Check. Convenient? Check. Quick? Check.
Leaders at Hackensack University Medical Center have seen these same advantages and now are working with Uber to provide rides for patients and visitors, as well as staff. The hospital is describing it as a “first-of-its-kind partnership.” Hackensack UMC will help pay the cost of the Uber ride when patients need a ride home. The hospital expects the partnership to save staff members the time they previously spent trying to find transportation for patients, as well as the additional money spent on the higher-cost alternatives.
Uber and the hospital are adding features to their apps to help with pick-up and drop-off. Uber’s app will allow riders to indicate the pick-up zone where they are located. The hospital’s app will include reminders about Uber rides, and the hospital’s website will include a page to request a ride. Signs with the Uber brand on them will help identify the pick-up and drop-off areas. Employees at those areas will help riders in and out of the Uber cars.
Brochures will be distributed throughout the hospital, and employees will be trained to assist visitors and patients in requesting rides. Also, the first time they use Uber, riders can get a free ride up to $20 by using a special code.
Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer of Hackensack University Health Network, said, “We are proud to partner with Uber for this one-of-a-kind service that will make healthcare more accessible to our patients, team members, and visitors who cite transportation as an obstacle to care.”
I’m betting the effort revs up the hospital’s satisfaction scores. What can you do today to improve satisfaction with your patients? (To keep up with hospital-related breaking news as it happens, follow us on Twitter @HospitalReport.)