One of the ways in which Partners HealthCare is working to enhance care quality is by addressing the “social determinants” of health—those factors within a person’s environment and lifestyle that impact their ability to access good health. High on the list of barriers within these social determinants: transportation to health care providers. In fact, an estimated four million Americans don’t get care simply because they can’t reach it.

To work around this barrier—literally—we have forged a new system-wide partnership with Circulation, a ride share platform. The service mimics popular transportation apps like Lyft and Uber, with a focus on carrying patients from point A to their doctor’s doorstep.

Partners joins 2,500 health facilities in more than 40 states offering the service, which fits seamlessly into the patient experience. Care managers can offer patients the option for a ride to the doctor or hospital, schedule the ride and then take care of billing. The Circulation database then coordinates the ride based on the patient’s needs, using services like Lyft or specialty providers when wheelchairs or stretchers are in the picture.

The hope is that the service will foster better outcomes by helping patients more reliably access preventive and chronic care and keep health conditions in check.

“At Partners, we look for technologies that can help us deliver care more efficiently, improve patient outcomes, and better serve our communities,” says Gregg Meyer, Partners Chief Clinical Officer. “This new collaboration checks the box on all three and further helps us address those social determinants of health that are so impactful on a patient’s well-being.”

Read more in Boston Magazine.

Topics: Community Partnerships, Access to Care

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