New research from the Center for Connected Medicine examines where health systems are investing in digital health tools
Patients increasingly expect their health care providers to offer apps and other digital health tools to assist with a multitude of tasks, including making appointments, checking their personal health data, messaging care teams and accessing virtual care.
While many hospitals and health systems have rolled out digital offerings, a new research report from the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM) finds that these tools may not be keeping pace with patient expectations.
Based on a survey of more than 100 health system professionals, the CCM report finds that fewer than 1-in-3 respondents believe their organization is providing a best-in-class digital experience for patients. The result suggests traditional health care providers could lose ground to more tech-savvy competitors.
“Patients now assume they’ll have the same digital experience in health care that they get everywhere else in their lives, and they’re dissatisfied when we don’t deliver,” said Katie Scott, Vice President of Digital Strategy and Innovation, UPMC Enterprises. “Increasingly, if hospitals and health systems can’t provide a feature-rich and seamless digital experience for their patients, those individuals are going to look elsewhere for care.”
UPMC Enterprises is the innovation, venture capital and commercialization arm of UPMC. The CCM is jointly operated by GE Healthcare, Nokia and UPMC. Defined as apps, wearables, web tools, connected devices and telehealth platforms, patient-facing digital health tools are a critical or high priority at a majority of health systems, the research found.
What digital tools are health systems using, planning to implement?
Most digital tools currently in use by respondents’ health systems are those typically found in patient portals, such as health record access, bill paying, appointment scheduling, and doctor search. Over the next year, survey respondents said they were planning to add check-in and arrival management tools and the ability to monitor chronic diseases. See the chart below to learn more and see which tools are expected to provide the greatest return on investment.