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26th Annual National Collegiate EMS Conference

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Uberlamps & Ambulyfts: Exploring Ridesharing Alternatives to Ambulance Transportation

Collegiate EMS agencies routinely encounter patients who require evaluation at a higher level of care but whose condition may not warrant ambulance transport. However, these agencies may not have effective systems in place to facilitate alternative means of transport for low acuity calls. Non-transport collegiate agencies may be forced to request an ambulance from a local EMS provider in these cases, which can contribute to the strain of an already busy urban EMS system. Ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft offers a potential solution to allow for immediate, low-acuity patient transport while avoiding a significant cost to the patient and the loss of an available transporting EMS unit. We examine the clinical, operational, and policy decisions required to effectively facilitate patient transport via a taxi or ride-share based system through a 4-year study of a local collegiate EMS agency that routinely facilitates patient transport to hospitals and urgent care facilities via means alternative to ambulances. In addition to reviewing the clinical data and medical decision-making required to determine the appropriateness of using ride-sharing services in lieu of an ambulance, this presentation will enable audience members to extrapolate and estimate the impact of incorporating ride-sharing services into their transport options.


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