Not knowing is half the battle. When you don’t have a dependable pick up time, you can’t be sure when to dispatch your vehicle. You also can’t ensure that you will have resources available when and where they’re needed. The traditional use of a will call system leaves too much uncertainty in the daily schedule. What’s worse is that a will call can quickly and easily degenerate into a no show.
This was the topic of interest in our October Webinar on “Reducing the Impact of Will Calls on NEMT Operations.” As the name suggests, we talked about the many ways to more effectively schedule trips in order to take the sting out of a last minute change. Here are the top 3 ways our panel of experts agreed could make a real difference.
Very often, a medical procedure (for example, dialysis) can require a predictable amount of time (for example four hours). By working with your clients or member (as well as their healthcare providers) you can build in the length of the appointment into the total trip time. This way, you’re able to schedule a return ride more efficiently, with less guessing.
When scheduling trips, very often a group of people will require transportation to and from the same location. It’s possible to book them (at least one of the one-way trips) into a coordinated ride. While this isn’t necessarily a simple procedure, a NEMT software solution can make it easier to notice trends in terms of similar addresses and travel times.
NEMT software can help with flexibility in the scheduling and dispatching processes. This means that a change to the software can help you adjust quickly (and do the calculations) to accommodate a real time issue. As well, connected tools like a notification system and a self-service client portal can help you to know immediately when a trip is going to be needed or not needed at all. Both these NEMT software solutions provide the information necessary to greatly reduce the impact of will calls.
As a result, your entire operation experiences less of the unpredictability associated with a call return. Your clients and members also gain a better understanding of the impact of will calls on providing timely service not just to them, but to your entire roster of valued clients.
A recorded video of this lively webinar is available here: http://go.tripspark.com/reducing-the-impact-of-will-calls-lp.html.
Be sure to pass along the link to anyone who is struggling with this scheduling problem. Perhaps they can learn something new, or even be able to add to the conversation.