The Northern California-based Sutter Health system recently expanded its partnership with San Francisco-based ridesharing company Lyft to better serve patients. The nonprofit health system ran a two-year pilot with Lyft testing several transportation scenarios for patients that resulted in several improvements. 

The pilot program offered patients being discharged from the emergency department a ride to a location of their choice, which helped improve patient throughput and reduce average wait times by up to 23 minutes. It also saved the system 25% on transportation costs when compared to previous services. It also provided greater flexibility for ambulatory surgery center staff to easily travel between care centers. 

Now the partners have expanded to support more patient and staff transportation needs. The health system recognized that transportation for home health care teams was a pain point within its patient care workflow. Home health care teams, who often use their own vehicles to travel to and from patient homes, now can choose Lyft as an alternative. 

Lyft can arrange transportation for Sutter home health care providers who support patients at home with needs ranging from wound care, physical therapy or nutritional support. This arrangement can help maximize a clinician’s time with each patient, while also reducing wear and tear that comes with using a personal vehicle for work.

“We are reimagining the ways we provide and deliver care, which includes increasing access to services and making them more convenient,” says Chris Waugh, chief innovation officer for Sutter Health. “For some, it’s not as simple as traveling from Point A to Point B. There are numerous real-world factors in between. Our approach takes the burden away from our patients and staff and puts them in the best position to receive the care they need or deliver the care they are trained to give.”