Transportation barriers can limit health care access. This is particularly problematic for patients with chronic medical conditions such as sickle cell disease (SCD) who require frequent medical visits. This study assesses the efficacy of health care-directed rideshare services for overcoming these barriers at an urban pediatric specialty clinic.
A pilot study was conducted at Boston Medical Center’s Pediatric Hematology Clinic from January to April 2019. Patients whose caregivers reported transportation difficulties were offered rides. Primary outcomes were no-show rates and cost. Secondary outcomes included timeliness and patient experience.
Implementation of rideshare services led to an 8.5% decrease in the no-show rate among patients with SCD. The intervention cost $2,175 over three months and generated $40,262 in charges. No adverse experiences were reported.
In an urban, underserved pediatric hematology clinic, the use of rideshare services is a feasible and relatively low-cost strategy for improving health care access.