Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn has announced the launch of GoRide, the company’s non-emergency medical transportation service for southeast Michigan. The program will cover more than 200 facilities within the Beaumont Health network.
Beaumont will be able to schedule and book transportation for its patients and uses customized Ford Transit vans that can accommodate wheelchair users and others with mobility challenges. GoRide also serves patients who don’t have transportation. The service helps prevent missed appointments and encourages preventative health care.
“There’s no excuse for the fact that so many people have trouble simply making it to their medical appointments,” says Marion Harris, vice president of Ford mobility business group. “By merging our expertise in vehicles, technology and human-centered design, we’ve created a high-touch, patient-focused service that truly understands and is tailored to patients and their needs. Our service is focused on multiple social determinants of health and delivers the quality of care and on-time certainty that medical facilities need in order to increase throughput and reduce wait times.”
As the population ages, there is a growing need for non-emergency medical transportation. Almost half of all U.S. adults suffer from one or more chronic health conditions, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
GoRide offers on-demand service and the ability to book transport up to 30 days in advance. The system also helps ensure patients are on-time, adding certainty for medical staff.
“This is precisely what we needed to improve access to medical care at Beaumont’s facilities for our patients who are elderly, in wheelchairs, or have mobility challenges,” says Paul E. LaCasse, executive vice president of post-acute care division and diversified business operations at Beaumont Health. “At Beaumont, we work very hard to provide extraordinary and compassionate care during every interaction with our patients and their families. We are certain that the GoRide non-emergency transportation service and its drivers meet the high-quality standards we hold.”
GoRide drivers go through training regarding the proper way to care for and transport patients. They can assist patients to and from their doorstep at private residences, entering and exiting the vehicle, and making their way to and from appointments. They are also trained to support skilled nursing facilities in need of bedside-to-bedside services.
“The first time I went in a GoRide, it was so clean,” says Ernestine Brighton, who started using the service in 2017. “You felt really secure. The drivers were excellent – they were very kind to me. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed moving to GoRide.”
When the GoRide pilot with Beaumont Health began in late 2017, there were five Transit Wagon vans outfitted to provide patient transportation. The program now has 15 Transit vehicles and plans to add another 10 by midyear and up to 60 vans by the end of the year. Transit offers three roof heights, three lengths, two wheelbases, and customizable seating arrangements. The GoRide fleet also feature flexible seats that can be flipped up to accommodate two wheelchair positions. Some have bus doors or running boards for ease of entry, as well as grab handles. Much of the fleet uses a wider wheelchair lift that can accommodate wheelchairs that are not standard size.
GoRide is a part of Ford Smart Mobility, Ford’s business focused on designing, building, growing, and investing in emerging mobility services globally.