This article was originally published here
J Am Coll Radiol. 2020 Aug 10:S1546-1440(20)30789-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2020.05.037. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to assess the differences in timeliness to MRI appointments and missed MRI appointment rates before and after the implementation of a rideshare program.
METHODS: Retrospective analysis of a rideshare program was performed 9 months after implementation to compare the effects before and after implementation. Variables obtained included demographics, MRI appointment variables, and data related to rideshare use. Descriptive statistics and linear and logistic regression analyses were used to compare demographic characteristics among patients using the rideshare program with (1) those who did not use the rideshare program after implementation and (2) patients before rideshare implementation. Rates of missed appointments derived from patient-related, same-day appointment cancellations were analyzed using logistic regression analyses. Timeliness was analyzed using linear regression analyses. All analyses were adjusted for potential confounders.
RESULTS: Of 7,707 patients scheduled for MRI appointments during the postintervention period, 151 patients used the rideshare service (1.95%). There were no statistically significant differences in missed appointment rates after rideshare implementation (adjusted odds ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 0.93-1.27; P = .275). Patients using the rideshare service were more likely to be on time (adjusted coefficient = 13.0; 95% confidence interval, 5.4-20.5; P = .001). Older patients (P = .001), unemployed patients (P < .001), and patients without commercial insurance (P < .001) were more likely to use the rideshare service.
CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of a rideshare program did not significantly decrease missed appointment rates, but it significantly improved timeliness to MRI appointments while assisting at-risk patient populations reporting transportation barriers.