How Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children uses Circulation to improve the lives of the families they serve

Circulation’s client, Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, was recently featured in the May edition of Healthcare Business Insight’s Cost & Quality Academy Journal. The article positions Nemours as an innovator in the healthcare space due to their transportation program and their partnership with Circulation — a relationship that has enabled them to facilitate 800 rides and nearly 15,000 total miles logged moving patients and their families to and from Nemours’ facilities.

It starts with understanding the issue

The Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children is a 192 bed hospital located in Wilmington, Delaware. The hospital has Delaware’s only Pediatric Level 1 trauma center and over 8,000 annual admissions. While service their patients, hospital staff recognized a problem: not all patients and their families have access to a car or public transit. At first, the hospital tried to use taxi vouchers, but these were expensive, gave little visibility into utilization or cost, and lacked in convenience and reliability. Nemours decided to use Circulation to address their issues.

On a mission to better serve their families

In September of 2016, Nemours participated in a pilot program for Circulation. The results were clear within a few months — patients and families had better experiences, staff operated more efficiently, and the health system realized substantial cost savings compared to their taxi voucher program.

“In a pinch, and when time is of the essence, we really do rely on Circulation and their ability to provide that service to our families” said Jodie Puzio-Bungard, Social Work Director at the hospital.”

Time to book a ride went from 20 minutes, on average, to just 5.

A key benefit of Circulation is time savings for staff -- this allows clinicians to spend less time doing administrative tasks and more time directly helping patients. In fact, it takes a social worker at the hospital an average of 5 minutes to book a ride through Circulation compared to the average of 20 minutes it takes to use a taxi voucher.   And unlike taxi vouchers, Circulation’s platform allows the social worker to schedule rides in the future or repeat rides -- saving even more time.

Robust analytics allow workers to monitor individual patients and the cost of the program as a whole.  Circulation’s interface includes information on who will be driving the patient, the vehicle and license plate, the current location of the driver’s vehicle, and estimated time of arrival. The staff is also able to access a variety of analytics, including transport utilization, average distance, and average cost.

In addition to improving staff workflow, Circulation also is easy to use for patients and families. The platform sends automated notifications to those waiting for rides — either by text message or phone call — keeping them updated on the status of a ride, a description of the driver & vehicle. Rides can also include return-trips, which patients can initiate after they’ve completed an appointment.

“The social work staff have really grown to trust the platform and its capabilities” said Puzio-Bungard.

All with the goal of improving patient lives

Even more than the cost savings and the improved staff efficiency, it’s the patients at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children who’ve been the biggest beneficiaries. As rides can be scheduled immediately through Circulation, patients are being discharged more quickly, which aligns with patient expectations and increases satisfaction. In addition, Circulation can be used to arrange for a patient’s parent or guardian to make a trip to their pharmacy and pick up the child’s medication. As Puzio-Bungard puts it, “Circulation has really opened up opportunities for families at the hospital.”

Jon is Circulation's Director of Marketing.