Lyft announces integration with Allscripts EHR system, allowing 180,000 doctors to hail rides for patients

On the heels of Uber’s recent foray into provider-requested ride hailing, Lyft has announced a deal with Allscripts for a similar service. The company expects the deal to allow 180,000 physicians to request nonemergency transportation for patients.

RELATED: Ride-hailing companies continue to partner with providers to reduce no-shows, but does it work?

Ride-hailing companies that want to capture a share of the estimated 3.6 million Americans who lack transportation to doctor’s appointments have recently shifted tactics. In recent days, Uber Health rolled out a HIPAA-compliant dashboard that providers can use to set up rides for patients, caregivers and staff.

Now, Lyft has followed suit, announcing a partnership with Allscripts that integrates the ride-hailing company’s API with the Sunrise EHR system. The companies expect to reach roughly 7 million patients via 180,000 physicians in 2,500 hospitals and 45,000 practices, according to USA Today.

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The move marks a continuing evolution of a service delivery model Lyft previously piloted with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Gyre Renwick, vice president of Lyft Business, laid out an ambitious milestone for the strategy underlying the partnership, saying it represents “an important next step towards reaching our goal of cutting in half the number of Americans that face transportation issues to medical appointments by 2020.”

Both Uber and Lyft have been targeting no-show patients for some time, but a recent JAMA study called into question the efficacy of offering free rides to patients when only about a quarter of patients took advantage of the service. The latest offerings from the two competitors seek to integrate ride offers more tightly within physicians’ workflows.

That tactical shift moved Lyft into a sweet spot for EHR providers looking to expand innovative services to patients and providers, according to Paul Black, CEO of Allscripts.

“Health IT should always put the patient first and this partnership is representative of Allscripts commitment to connecting communities and helping providers deliver services their patients need,” he said in a statement.