As Ford Motor Company attempts to expand the transportation side of its business – rideshare/ride-hailing, shuttles, bicycle rentals, and all the rest – the automaker today announced that it is launching a non-emergency medical transportation service across Southeast Michigan. A pilot program for the Ford “GoRide” medical transportation service was launched late in 2017; now, it will cover more than 200 Beaumont healthcare facilities in and around the Metro Detroit area.
“The first time I went in a GoRide, it was so clean,” said Ernestine “Tina” Brighton – a satisfied user of the Ford service. “You felt really secure. The drivers were excellent – they were very kind to me. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed moving to GoRide.”
Medical transportation is especially important as missed appointments and scheduling inefficiencies are estimated to cost the US healthcare industry $150 billion per year, Ford says, citing a report by SCI Solutions. Many of the people who require regular visits to healthcare facilities are elderly, disabled, or simply lack easy access to transportation, making mobility a challenge. Allowing more folks to make their medical appointments can help reduce re-admission rates and cut down on the need for emergency services, as medical issues often worsen if left untreated.
Ford’s GoRide non-emergency medical transportation service allows health systems like Beaumont to make transportation arrangements for their patients up to 30 days in advance, helping to realize greater efficiency and to reduce the rate of missed appointments.
“There’s no excuse for the fact that so many people have trouble simply making it to their medical appointments,” says Ford Mobility Business Group Vice President Marion Harris. “By merging our expertise in vehicles, technology and human-centered design, we’ve created a high-touch, patient-focused service that truly understands and is tailored to patients and their needs. Our service is focused on multiple social determinants of health, and delivers the quality of care and on-time certainty that medical facilities need in order to increase throughput and reduce wait times.”
Non-emergency medical transportation through GoRide is conducted using a fleet of properly-outfitted Ford Transit vans with accommodations for those in wheelchairs and folks who have difficulty walking. When the pilot program launched in late-2017, there were five such vehicles in the fleet; by the end of 2018, Ford hopes to grow that number to 60. Drivers undergo training to instruct them on how to care for and transport patients heading in for non-emergency medical help, and can assist patients as they enter and exit the vehicle.