U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
Uber Health Connect Initiative
Indra Sandal, PhD, MBA, the Chief of Innovation at the Tampa VA Medical Center (VAMC), has made significant strides in addressing transportation barriers for Veterans and improving their access to healthcare. Recognizing the impact of transportation limitations on Veterans' health outcomes, Dr. Sandal created the VA-Uber Health Connect (VUHC) Initiative.
Through public-private partnerships with Uber Health, VUHC provides a ride-sourcing platform that allows healthcare providers to book rides for Veterans, track trips, record billing information, and send reminders. Since its launch, VUHC has facilitated over 30,000 Uber rides, covering 408,529 miles.
The impact of VUHC has been substantial. It has increased access to care, improved engagement, and resulted in estimated cost savings of $35 million for the VHA. By reducing cancellations and enabling faster discharges, VUHC has saved 1,730 bed days and prevented 28,000 missed appointments.
Veterans have expressed overwhelming satisfaction, with 82% stating they would not have been able to access care without it. Plans for expansion to 60 hospitals are underway.
Dr. Sandal's leadership and innovative approach have bridged the transportation gap, saved costs, improved outcomes, and enhanced the well-being of Veterans. Her collaboration serves as a model for addressing challenges and achieving innovation within the VHA.
SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNER
INDRA SANDAL, PhD, MBA
Chief of Innovation, Tampa Veterans Hospital
National Lead, VHA Uber Health Connect Initiative, VHA Innovation Ecosystem