4 ways to improve digital healthcare access: AHA

Accessing healthcare digitally hasn't improved as much as patients and providers would like, so the American Hospital Association has formulated four recommendations for making it easier.

Most patients and providers say digital healthcare access has stayed the same or gotten worse over the past 12 to 24 months, according to an April Experian Health study cited by AHA in the July 11 article.

Here are four principles for driving digital engagement formed during an AHA panel discussion with leaders from 13 health systems and mobile platform Gozio Health:

1. Hardwire human-centered design into your approach.

That includes starting with consumers' needs and wants, constantly soliciting feedback from them, and fixing what isn't working along the way.

2. Extend the human touch in care coordination.

"We want to have somebody — or artificial intelligence — look in the record and say, 'I see you’ve been referred for this. Can I help schedule that for you now?'" said Ryan Nagdeman, associate vice president of marketing communications at Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center, at the panel.

3. Seek diverse inputs to achieve health equity.

Columbus-based Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, for instance, equipped medical school and health science students with tablets to teach community members how to access their medical records and schedule appointments online.

4. Improve data governance and customer-relationship management.

After Marlton, N.J.-based Virtua Health explained to a panel of community members that its patients are able to see a breast surgeon within 48 hours, one of them chimed in, "For me, that's not 48 hours, that’s 10,000 moments of terror," according to the article. "We redesigned everything we were doing after that, Ryan Younger, Virtua's vice president of marketing, said at the event.

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