7 Strategies Leading NEMT & School Transport Providers Use to Improve Performance

Sima Megrel, VP Marketing

In the rapidly evolving mobility industry, both Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT) and school transport providers face unique challenges. They must not only provide a caring and specialized service, they must do so in an ever more competitive environment.  

To stay ahead of the game, leading NEMT and school transport providers in the world employ strategies to meet the growing demands of patients and healthcare providers, parents and schools. These school transport and NEMT CEOs and owners embrace capabilities that create a more efficient and reliable service. 

Here are seven strategies that help leading school transport and NEMT providers excel: 

1. Re-optimize plans to ensure timeliness and on-time results

This may seem obvious, but meeting SLA time windows is the cornerstone of a successful NEMT operation. Pre-order planning, routing and dispatching are crucial, and leading companies use technology to optimize and automate the planning process. And, as the rides are dispatched, to continually and automatically re-optimize the plan, taking into account real-time traffic conditions, driver delays and any other unforeseen events. This ensures on-time pickups and drop-offs while reducing travel times and deadhead miles.

2. Optimize to maximize utilization and do more with less

One key way NEMT and school transport providers` improve profitability is by maximizing the utilization of their vehicles and drivers. Leveraging advanced fleet management systems, as well as powerful optimization tools, to strategically streamline automated workflows and utilize their resources. Additionally, integrating NEMT services with existing taxi or TLC assets can lead to higher revenue generation by optimizing resource allocation.

3. Provide a superior customer experience

Leaders in the school transport and NEMT market endeavor to provide passengers with the best, smoothest experience possible. We call this a “ride-share” like experience. This empowers the passengers with visibility and communication features like a web booker or ride tracking that let passengers know where their ride is and its ETA - thus creating a better service, reducing anxiety and minimizing service calls.  

4. Create tools for seamless communication with your drivers

Keeping open communication channels between drivers and dispatchers makes managing NEMT or school transport operation a lot smoother, and driver retention higher. Using a mobile application for the drivers with in-app messaging, real-time updates, and incident reporting, as well as the ability to see the next day’s plan, helps efficient communication, ensuring clear instructions, quick response times, and accurate information exchange.

5. Ensure operational control to know what is happening in real-time

Having a platform with real-time fleet and rides visibility is vital for effective NEMT and school transport operations. This includes tracking vehicle locations, driver shifts, availability, and trip progress. This transparency enables proactive management of unexpected events, efficient resource allocation, and improved customer service.

6. Compliance and safety are key

Meeting regulatory requirements and ensuring passenger safety are paramount in both the NEMT and school transport industries. Alongside the initial comprehensive driver training programs, it is vital to keep track of driver and vehicle tasks, such as regular vehicle and equipment maintenance, refresher courses for drivers' certifications and adherence to safety standards. Automation can assist in managing all the different facets of compliance by automating tasks, taking care of documentation, monitoring driver credentials, and more. 

7. Integrate with partners to automate and streamline processes

The NEMT ecosystem includes multiple players, healthcare providers, insurance companies, government agencies and NEMT brokers. The ability to streamline work processes with all of them, through data exchange and integration, streamlines administrative processes, and helps cut a lot of the overhead associated with NEMT.

Across all of these, the ability of owners and managers to make data-driven decisions is key to optimizing operations. For both NEMT and school transport providers, advanced analytics tools help track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as on-time performance, trip completion rates, resource utilization, and customer satisfaction, and identify areas for improvement and potential growth. 

NEMT and school transport providers must proactively embrace technological advancements to stay ahead. By leveraging the power of technology, CEOs and owners can unlock the full potential of both NEMT and school transport operations. Investing in innovative solutions tailored for the industry can lead to enhanced patient and student experiences, improved financial performance, and ensure the longevity of the business.

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