- MedStar’s collaboration with Uber is part of a larger focus on digital technologies to improve access to care.
- The “Ride with Uber” button is now prominently displayed on MedStar’s website.
- The move is part of MedStar’s plan to become a “premier “digital healthcare provider, according to the Columbia, MD-based firm.
By putting the “Ride with Uber” button on its site, patients can easily request rides, knowing ahead of time what the wait time will be and how much the ride will cost. They can also set up a reminder to alert an hour in advance of an upcoming doctor visit.
Missed appointments are a costly problem for health plans and physician offices, with some estimates as high as $150 billion a year in the U.S., according to Washington Business Journal. Patients often cite transportation as their reason for missing a visit, and MedStar is betting on Uber to help cut down on no-shows.
“Patients expect the same level of seamless integration in healthcare as they do in other aspects of their everyday life," said MedStar’s chief digital officer Michael Ruiz. “MedStar Health has a history of innovating when it comes to patient care and our integration with Uber is a step towards a future where technology-enabled patient engagement rivals other industries disrupted by digital technology.”
The collaboration builds on earlier MedStar initiatives to improve access to care using digital technologies, such as an automated system for finding physicians and online scheduling.