Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘University of Kansas’

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Posted by terrepruitt on July 30, 2018

Have you heard of Uber? Or Lyft? They are the driver services where you hire a private driver in his/her own car to pick you up and drive you to where you need to be. Supposedly it is less expensive than a taxi. With the applications made for smart phones it is supposedly really easy too. You can order a driver, see how much it will cost, how long it will take, and watch the driver’s progress to your location. You might think of using Uber or Lyft to take you out to dinner or to an event to avoid having to pay parking or even when you are visiting another city and you don’t want to rent a car. But do you know what else these services are being used for? Non-emergency transportation to the hospital!

A paper authored by an assistant professor of economics at the University of Kansas and an internist at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego says that cities that have Uber available have reduced their use of ambulances. Noted in the paper, the present health care system has slowed ambulance response time down, so calling for an Uber/Lyft can get you to which hospital you want to go to. Ambulances are usually required to take you to the nearest medical facility, whereas if you hire one of theses private driver services they will take you where you want to go – and possibly faster than an ambulance.

I think it goes without saying that you would save money considering medical transportation is often costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Also, in non-emergency situations, you could be freeing up an ambulance for an actual life-threatening emergency. Someone who REALLY NEEDS the ambulance could get it!

In Texas, Tarrant County Emergency Services is actually using Lyft instead of ambulances. When some calls 911 they can speak to dispatch and a triage nurse. The callers are able to have a Lyft driver dispatched to pick them up and take them to a medical facility of their choice.

I think if you have an advice nurse or a triage nurse (as it seems to be called in Texas) available to you, it might be a good idea to call them and see what they think. There are many reasons one might need to go to the hospital and they are unable to drive themselves, but it is not necessarily a need for an ambulance. Of course, always call 911 when there is an emergency.

What do you think about using an Uber/Lyft type of ride to the hospital?

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