Providing Transportation for Patients With Cancer Helps Address Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health can play a significant role in the treatment trajectory and outcomes for patients with cancer because oncology care requires close communication between the patient and clinicians.

With the implementation of a transportation hub for oncology patients at Cone Health in Greensboro, North Carolina, the health system helped address systemic disparities in the community, according to Cone Health Director Rachel Marquez, MPH.

In an interview with Pharmacy Times, Marquez said social determinants of health can play a significant role in the treatment trajectory and outcomes for patients with cancer, because oncology care requires close communication between the patient and clinicians. If patients are unable to get to their appointments, this communication is broken.

When investigating ways to improve appointment attendance, Marquez said they found that transportation was a specific issue in 2 zip codes in the Greensboro area. To address this, they implemented the transportation hub, which has resulted in improved appointment attendance, as well as significant improvements in patient satisfaction and clinician productivity.