While some startups thrive by finding niche audiences, others find success by iterating on a universal need in new and exciting ways. This is certainly the case with Royal Care Connect, an ambulance company turned tech-enabled transportation platform that is seeking to streamline and improve the healthcare experience for patients and providers alike.
By working with other technology partners to improve outcomes for healthcare facilities, Royal Care Connect is on a mission to radically alter healthcare transportation for the better, ensuring patients get the right level of service when they need it — all while helping them avoid those pesky, surprising bills at the same time.
A More Effective Form of Healthcare Transportation
Overcrowding is a serious issue at hospital emergency rooms, with several factors creating long wait times. From late discharges to patients visiting the emergency room for a non-emergency need, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a nationwide average wait time of 30 minutes — though many locations, especially in crowded metropolitan areas, experience far greater wait times.
While those with the most severe medical emergencies receive higher priority, overcrowding and inefficient patient flow can greatly reduce the overall effectiveness of a hospital visit.
As reported by Lyft Business, this was the exact problem facing the Highland Hospital, a community safety net hospital of the Alameda Health System in Oakland, California. Because many of the hospital’s low-income patients didn’t have a way to get home or to another care facility after receiving care in the emergency room, the area was prone to severe overcrowding. This led to extremely long wait times, and even a recurring need to divert patients to other hospitals that were farther away.
In recognizing this problem, Royal Care Connect leveraged their partnership with Lyft Business to implement a ride-share system for patient transportation. The system connected patients and healthcare providers, ensuring that patients were informed regarding their transportation options so that they could get to the right place in a timely and cost-effective manner.
By using the Lyft Ride-share network and Royal’s 24/7 call-center to replace the hospital’s previous taxi voucher program, the average ambulatory transport wait time was reduced from 90 minutes to seven. ER diversion rates decreased by over 50 percent, and one of the system’s primary care clinics reduced its no-show rates by 73 percent.
Directly addressing the transportation issues affecting both admissions and discharge improved outcomes for patients and the hospital system alike, lowering expenses and making it easier for individuals to receive appropriate care for their situation.
This is just one example of Royal Care Connect’s goal of improving hospital transportation. The company has made an emphasis on customizing solutions for a wide range of healthcare needs. Critical Care, ECMO and Pediatric Transport are just a few examples of the specialty medical transportation the company makes available to ensure that all patients can be accommodated, whether they are going to a primary care physician or simply getting a ride home.
Focusing On Service
Despite these noteworthy outcomes, Royal Care Connect hasn’t been content to rest on its laurels. In August 2019, the company partnered with Qualtrics to improve the collection of patient feedback. The goal of this latest partnership is to capture patient feedback during the discharge process. When the stay at the hospital is still fresh in the patient’s mind, it is easier to get candid information regarding the facility’s services.
The longer the hospital waits to collect feedback about the patient experience, the less likely they are to receive an in-depth response that accurately reflects the individual’s sentiments. By implementing a native feedback solution that can be administered to patients by EMTs during the ride home, Royal Care Connect will be better positioned to help healthcare organizations collect meaningful data.
This, in turn will make it easier for these organizations to identify key insights that will help them improve the healthcare experience for future patients.
This partnership is a natural extension of the brand’s commitment to helping healthcare providers audit their protocols and technology use. Addressing the recurring issues that are currently harming the overall patient experience will lead to more efficient treatment in the future, increasing patient satisfaction while lowering the bottom line.
The Value of Technology Integration
While both of these case studies address slightly different elements of the healthcare experience, they both share roots in technology. The integration of new technology tools has the potential to continue dramatically transforming healthcare but, when lives are at stake, it needs to be done right.
Quite often, however, technology innovations are exclusively focused on the medications and treatments used to fight disease. While these advances are undeniably essential, they do not represent the full picture of the healthcare experience.
Issues such as accessibility and the quality of the patient experience while at a hospital or doctor’s office can also directly impact an individual’s ability and willingness to seek treatment. Studies have found that environmental factors such as the neighborhood where one lives can also affect whether they visit a primary care physician rather than relying on so-called “safety net” providers.
By leveraging technology, patients can have greater access to the right healthcare facility for their needs, ensuring that everyone gets the proper treatment.
It Doesn’t Get Much More Innovative Than This …
In an emergency situation, even a few minutes can mean the difference between life or death. By taking an active role in ensuring proper patient flow with reliable, affordable transportation solutions, Royal Care Connect is already helping to relieve many of the most common issues facing hospitals in today’s healthcare environment.
With better transportation, better hospital outcomes are more achievable than ever.