‘PRONTO’ Transport Initiative Moves into Full-Time Service

Monday, May 15, 2017

Following a successful pilot between February and March of this year, UI Health re-launched its PRONTO non-emergency transportation initiative as a permanent patient service on May 15.

PRONTO, a partnership with local health-access startup Kaizen Health, utilizes ride-hailing service Lyft to provide free rides to patients being transitioned home from medical surgical and critical care units.

Inadequate transportation can be a significant barrier to accessing healthcare — and can contribute to slow bed turnover and lower patient satisfaction. With PRONTO — which stands for PROgram for Non-emergency TranspOrtation — UI Health social workers can assess a patient’s transportation needs and, if necessary, arrange for transition home in a Lyft car. The service is available for all adult patients living in Chicago who are ambulatory and expected to depart by 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

During the spring pilot, UI Health provided 145 rides to patients. Forty-three percent of patients were discharged by 2pm, and 12% even were discharged by 11 am. The average time from when a social worker assessed patient transport to when the patient was transitioned home was just 1 hour.

Nearly one-third of patients also completed patient-experience calls, and all gave the service high marks for convenience.

“This is an extremely helpful service for us to assist with hospital discharges,” says Robin Ramirez, a Care Continuum service specialist.

In one instance, a caregiver accompanied a patient who was anxious about returning home after her hospital visit. In another, the ride was provided for the patient and their spouse.

“PRONTO is ensuring a positive experience for our patients and their families,” says Rani Morrison, senior director of Care Continuum. “And it’s assisting us in achieving one of organizational goals: improving throughput. It’s a win-win.”

Thank you to the Nursing, Social Work, Patient Care Services, Materials Management–Logistics, Information Services, Emergency Department, Population Health Sciences, and Health Policy & Strategy teams for their work in bringing this service to our patients!