February 13, 2015

AZ Business Magazine

Post-op concierge offers car service for patients

Meeting the health-care demands of the community is already a challenging job, but patients who miss appointments are adding to that challenge. One of the primary concerns with missed appointments is that they limit access to care for multiple patients. To alleviate the stress of having to ask family and friends for help, the only subscription-based car and driver service in the United States has been launched.  RubyRide has partnered with top, board-certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Karl Frindrich, MD, to launch PostOp Concierge.
PostOp Concierge supports all patient transportation and service needs for pre-operation as well as post-operation. In addition, all drivers are extensively background checks providing a safe environment from a ride, recovery and healing process.  In addition they are CPR, ADA, and First Aid trained.
As part of the PostOp Concierge service, the Home Safe Program™ encourages a safer home environment by making sure all passage ways are free of obstruction and well lit.  This would include bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.  Trained providers can help interpret post operative (post-op) instructions to make them clearer, decreasing nonvital phone calls to the surgeon’s office.  When patients do need help with medical problems such as nausea, vomiting or excessive pain, the patient quickly reaches the right person in the doctor’s office to get the help they need.  This combination of service is intended to create a safer environment for the patient, as well as reassuring them that they are progressing as expected for the procedure.
Dr. Frindrich first conceptualized PostOp Concierge when he noticed cases were being canceled frequently due to not having a ride or not adhering to pre-surgical instructions of not eating or drinking for up to six hours before the case. Most importantly, the patient who has taken time out of their schedule to arrange for the needed surgery was not getting the care in a timely manner. This caused interruption in the scheduling at the surgery center which causes an economic chain of events. The surgeon, anesthesiologist, and centers were losing funds and incurring costs as a case was cancelled. In addition, patients from a dual income family, singles, and those with distant family members can benefit as it is a decreased barrier to getting a procedure done.
Some patients resort to asking family or friends to deliver them to the surgical procedure as well as back home.  According to Dr. Frindrich, the minimum time needed to take a patient to a procedure is two hours in advance, perform the case, recover, and take a patient home.  Total time elapsed is approximately four-to-six hours.  With today’s busier lives the patient needs a driver care service one can rely on.  Patients not only have someone to ride along with them to and from a procedure for emotional support, but they do not have to worry about how they are going to transfer the post op patient.”
“Our service takes patients directly to the admission area of the surgical center, and they have less stress figuring out where to park or where to go,” said Jeff Ericson president and founder of RubyRide.  “The patient gets taken directly to the admissions area. We make sure you get there on time so that their schedule runs more smoothly. When we get you into the home we make sure your home is safe from any falls. This includes making sure you have free access to the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. There are no loose wires, carpets, well lit. Every driver has an iPad and we use the home readiness index – assessment nausea, vomiting, pain, consciousness and breathing. We score that on the tablet to see if the patient is ready to be left alone safely. If not, further arrangements need to be made that we help facilitate with their health care provider.”
Dr. Frindrich explained that patients and family members will have more peace of mind with the service. “Getting a patient registered for a procedure, performing the procedure, recovering the patient, and discharging the patient in a timely manner all affect the efficiency of the surgical center.  When patients show up late, cancel because of non adherence to NPO status, or a ride from surgery shows up late, every other case booked at the facility gets affected.  The delayed post op ride means a recovery room nurse and space is potentially not available to take another patient who is ready to leave the operating room.”  With PostOp concierge, the driver gets the patient there on time and is available within 30 minutes of notification that the patient is ready for discharge.  They then collect the patient in a timely manner, for a safe ride home. With cases being canceled because a patient ate or drank the evening before the case, the patient gets called to introduce the caregiver and remind them not to eat or drink after midnight as an additional layer of NPO encouragement.”
Ericson spent four years conceptualizing the concept of RubyRide. An architect by training, he often was asked the question, “How do you reconnect low-to-mid density cities efficiently without having to build parking spots for every private car?” That sparked the idea for a way to keep less cars off the road in a safe and affordable manner.  RubyRide is considered a car service, not a taxi company. In a recent study it shows that 98 percent of Americans use a private car to move around and statistics have shown that if there was a true alternative to car ownership, then Americans would opt into that option. In addition, AAA indicates that the cost of car ownership a month on average is $740 dollars. For many, that expense is not practical. RubyRide makes it affordable for those that still need transportation but may not want to bear such a high expense.
The benefits of using PostOp Concierge include:
  • Pre-op NPO encouragement decreasing cancelled cases;
  •  Physical therapist designed course on safe patient transfer from hospital to car and car to home;
  •  Patients arrive on time and are picked up on time improving pre-op and post-op efficiency;
  • Home Safe Program and Home Readiness Index; and
  • Patients have company for up to an hour to transition care or can provide extended care as needed.
Due to RubyRide’s training, insurance and certifications the car service also works for business, non-profit organizations, K-12 (carpool), high schools/colleges and universities, millennials and commuters and seniors. The advantage of RubyRide is that there are no peak prices or surcharges, there is one set monthly rate and friends and family ride along for free. Additional features allow one to budget their transportation needs each month, and there is a no tipping policy or paying per trip.
RubyRide is headquartered in Arizona. Expansion services include launching in other low-mid density cities where public transportation/taxis just don’t work.