Transportation software eases financial strain for providers, empowers patients with disabilities – MedCity News

By advocating for stronger transportation networks, the healthcare industry has an opportunity to improve the lives of patients who live with disabilities. More health care providers are seeing patients on an outpatient basis, but simply getting to a doctor visit can be a formidable obstacle for those managing physical and developmental disabilities.

Studies show that more than a half a million people with disabilities never leave their home, causing debilitating isolation that exacerbates physical and emotional issues. Lack of reliable, safe transportation is often one of the decisive factors in whether a person gets the regular medical care they need or not. This adds up to an enormous societal cost in human suffering and healthcare costs.

More than 60 million adult Americans live with a disability, and too many struggle to get to their doctors, to get to work and training, and to fully participate in their community. Users are burdened with navigating cobbled-together patchworks of agency and ADA-mandated public services, often underfunded (or nearly non-existent in rural communities) and stranded when services are needed the most.

Community service providers who provide programming for adults with disabilities fill the gaps left by public paratransit, family and friend networks. Most urban centers have a variety of agencies who provide transportation services along with training and social programs. But maintaining a safe and efficient fleet, training operators and managing schedule logistics are costly line items in annual budgets.

There are new tailored software-as-a-service (SaaS) technologies designed to support transportation that can result in better, less costly services. This tech not only reduces costs but creates a system that is more easily accessible to users and managed by staff.

While adding a software solution can be an intimidating financial consideration for a funds-strapped organization, it can be a solution with an array of benefits. Relying on traditional methods for coordinating transportation — hand-written schedules and phone calls – can also be expensive when human error causes inefficient routing, missed pickups, or poorly planned resource allocation. Adopting a digital solution ensures efficiency and accuracy, beneficial to everyone who provides or uses these transportation programs.

It’s important that patient safety and privacy issues are at the forefront of technological solutions for care. For example, scheduling systems for patient populations must be focused on providing safe and timely transport for the individual. There are solutions available that integrate with providers’ existing infrastructure, in which providers can change, track and coordinate schedules in a HIPAA-compliant, cloud-hosted platform.

Those with disabilities deserve a voice in their care and mobility. Using a software solution that is geared specifically to serve a diverse population with different abilities gives users autonomy and freedom to manage their own schedules.

Other features ideal for a modern scheduling system include options for tailored individual transport preferences, trackable on- and off-boarding, managed schedule changes and the ability to devise optimal routing under real-time circumstances. Tracking for Covid-19 and other public health situations gives insight into health vector conditions and allows providers to issue alerts.

A solution created with providing compassionate care that is top of mind will also feature driver check-ins at pick-up, to arrival, and drop-off back home. These steps provide assurance to staff and families, who are comfortable knowing patients are secure and in good hands, accounted for at all times.

People managing physical and developmental disabilities who rely on community-based services benefit from easy-to-use scheduling and management options, and providers supporting these communities should explore how to integrate digital solutions into their processes.

When those who live with disabilities have regular access to routine medical care before situations become emergencies, not only are medical costs reduced but individuals stay healthier longer, enjoying a better quality of life. Healthcare providers who champion reliable transportation networks are helping their patients aspire to the rich human potential that lies in everyone.


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