Lyft on Thursday announced an integration with Epic Systems Corp.'s electronic health record system, marking the ride-sharing company's latest step into healthcare.
Through the new program, staff at participating hospitals will be able to use a patient's medical record to order Lyft rides if they need help traveling to or from non-emergency medical appointments.
Lyft already has an integration with Allscripts, and the company's main competitor, Uber, last year brought its services into Cerner Corp.'s EHR. The newest program—Epic's first integration with a ride-sharing company—takes EHR integration a step further, according to Lyft officials, as the two companies are working together to provide scheduling services and measure patient outcomes.
Lyft and Epic are working to develop a capability for health systems to run reports that measure how patients' use of Lyft rides affects population health and costs, as well as to identify patients who would benefit from Lyft's non-emergency medical transportation services.
That could help the company solidify research on whether its services improve health outcomes and reduce no-show rates, as early research has been mixed. One pilot program at a Minneapolis internal medicine clinic found using Lyft for non-emergency medical transportation reduced the clinic's no-show rate by 27% and increased revenue by $270,000.
Ochsner Health in New Orleans and Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital, which already work with Lyft, have committed to using the new program.
Integrating Lyft's services into Epic's EHR will "speed up the process to order a Lyft and reduce keyboard time for our team members," said Jason Swoboda, Tampa General's associate director of health innovation and emerging technology, in a statement.
The new program integrates Lyft Concierge, a tool Lyft rolled out in 2016 to make it easier for organizations to schedule rides for customers and employees, directly into Epic's EHR. To order a ride on behalf of someone else, staff input a passenger's name, phone number, and pick-up and drop-off locations; the passenger then receives a text message that they can use to request a ride.
Lyft in its announcement described the program, dubbed "Lyft for Epic," as another investment into the company's "healthcare product suite."
Lyft and Uber have been pushing into healthcare for the past several years, initially focusing on providing patients rides to non-emergency medical appointments.
Both companies offer covered rides to Medicaid beneficiaries in some states and boast major partnerships with non-emergency medical transportation providers, health insurers and EHR companies. Uber in August took its first step into the prescription delivery market, launching a pilot in Seattle and Dallas.