Health equity describes the opportunity for citizens to attain their “full health potential” while reducing the social determinants of health barriers that often bar patients from accessing quality care within their communities. Integral to the conversation of health equity, transportation, along with other mobility factors that affect community access to care, often neglects to include aspects of mobility that fall outside of traditional transportation options. The Mobile Grand Rapids initiative has recognized parking as a factor within their mobility management plan for the city that impacts the success of their citizens. But how does the Mobile Grand Rapids initiative incorporate citizens whose mobility problems aren’t centered around parking, but instead around the actual vehicular transportation? How do marginalized communities interact with mobility in non-traditional ways and whose best interests aren’t incorporated into the mobility management plan developed for the city? In an effort to find a solution to Grand Rapids mobility management problem within the scopes of health equity, Kaizen Health’s solution incorporates the pillars of successful mobility management, which include social justice, economic development and transportation, within the larger conversation of health equity that looks to capitalize on the success of every citizen in the Grand Rapid community.
Now more than ever, hospital systems and independent providers are noticing that smart investments in the social determinants of health often pay for themselves many times over in quality gains and cost avoidance. In an effort to combine innovative healthcare approaches in accordance with Mobility Grand Rapids as well as working to solve matters related to the social determinants of health, Kaizen Health’s solution works with medical professionals to offer residents with access and transportation challenges in underserved areas transportation to medical appointments, therapy, pharmacies, and other destinations as deemed appropriate by care coordination staff. Our proposed approach seeks to leverage the Kaizen Health platform to connect the county’s most at-risk populations to the services already being provided in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Together, we hope to see an increase in the appropriate outpatient services, medication adherence, and patient satisfaction, and an attendant decrease in ER visits, missed appointments, and other adverse results. In accordance with the Grand Rapids Mobility plan of increasing transportation options related to new transportation technology and services, our proposed solution embraces the concept of mobility management as we work to eliminate the barrier of transportation in your communities and develop successful citizens centered around a just social framework.
How it works: A patient comes to your clinic or local emergency department looking for care. Your clinical staff conducts their initial screening and asks the patient about barriers they face with their access to community healthcare. Once deemed eligible for Kaizen Health’s services, the care coordinator enters the patient’s information into our HIPAA compliant software and sets up rides to/from their future appointments. Patients are transported in a vehicle that best fits their health status – rideshare sedan, wheelchair vehicle, etc. A three-step verification process confirms patient acceptance of the ride and lets medical staff know if the patient will be at their scheduled appointment. If the patient verifies their pick-up time, our transportation services will ensure their arrival 15 minutes before their appointment starts; if not, medical staff can open this appointment time up to other patients and the original patient is contacted for rescheduling.
With the use of the Kaizen Health platform, one of our Chicago clients was able to decrease their number of no-shows and increase attendance at follow-up appointments from 17% to 65% in one year - an improvement of nearly 300%. Our clients are finding that covering the cost of transportation provides a greater financial benefit as opposed to a patient missing their appointment or being treated inpatient longer than necessary due solely to lack of transportation.