How to Improve On-time Performance in Your NEMT Business


Providing timely and reliable transportation is critical for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) providers. Being late or unreliable damages your reputation, frustrates healthcare providers, and most importantly causes issues for the patients relying on your service. Here are some key ways to improve on-time performance in your NEMT operation.

Optimize Scheduling and Dispatching

Careful attention needs to be paid to properly schedule trips and dispatch vehicles. Make sure to account for average travel, wait and appointment times based on accurate historical data. Build appropriate buffers into schedules without overpromising. Dispatch the closest appropriate vehicle for trips accounting for traffic patterns. Use software and GPS to monitor vehicles and make dynamic dispatch adjustments.

Hire, Train and Retain Quality Drivers

Experienced, safe and customer-service oriented drivers are vital for on-time NEMT operation. Conduct thorough background checks before hiring new drivers. Provide extensive training on your policies, procedures, equipment and service area. Set clear expectations for on-time performance and safety. Incentivize and reward drivers who maintain high on-time rates and positive customer feedback.

Continuously Evaluate Service Data

Analyze reports and data on on-time performance, traffic patterns, individual driver performance, customer feedback and operational costs. Identify improvement areas like unreliable clients, bottleneck traffic zones or schedules with inadequate buffers. Make informed adjustments to policies, procedures, schedules and staffing to incrementally improve service quality and efficiency.

Communicate with Clients and Customers

Set clear pickup time expectations with clients, healthcare facilities and passengers when trips are scheduled. Call ahead if encountering an unavoidable delay to allow for schedule adjustments if possible. Inform dispatch immediately of any timing issues or delays to coordinate mitigation response. Request feedback from customers and medical providers on your service.

Invest in Technology and Equipment

Implement modern dispatching software, GPS vehicle tracking, mobile data terminals, routing engines and traffic monitoring systems. Keep equipment and vehicles properly maintained to avoid breakdowns. Consider features like GPS navigation, wheelchair lifts, restraints and door configurations to speed up loading and unloading of passengers.

Providing reliable NEMT with a high percentage of on-time trips takes careful planning, scheduling, dispatching, skilled drivers and utilization of technology. Paying attention to these key areas will help you exceed customer service quality expectations and outperform competitors. Reaching your on-time targets translates directly into improved client retention and passenger satisfaction.

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