A new study shows that only 4 of the US News Top 10 Hospitals have a patient-centric digital presence. The study Aligning Patient Needs with Online Capabilities: What Healthcare Reform Means for Your Hospital Website looked at the top 50 hospitals, as listed on the US News and World Report, and examined their online offerings to see how well they serve the digital patient. The study was done by Evolve Digital Labs.
Only 4 of the top 10 in the US News list also made the Top 10 for being patient-centric online. Mayo Clinic ranked number one.
Watch the full video interview with Lee Aase, Director of the Social Media Center at Mayo Clinic, to hear his tips.
What does a hospital’s online capabilities have to do with healthcare reform, you might ask.
Well, healthcare providers are now held accountable for comprehensive healthcare and are expected to demonstrate a commitment to providing patients with long-term health solutions, both in the facility and online.
The digital patient is tech-savvy, looking for health information online and often uses a mobile device to find what they want:
The digital patient movement is growing rapidly – witness the LinkedIn Group that has more than 25,000 members.
Yet the majority of healthcare providers are lagging behind other industries in providing easy-to-use, interactive web-based services to patients. Where are the majority of these hospitals falling down?
- Only 1 in 5 has online preregistration documents to save the patient time when checking in Tweet this
- 2 out of 3 fail to offer rehab or aftercare information Tweet this
- Nearly 1 in 3 does not support online bill pay Tweet this
- Almost half of do not support prescription refills online Tweet this
- Almost 1 in 5 (18%) has on-site errors that hinder the patient experience Tweet this
MobileHealthNews.com reports that in although the number of mobile apps developed by hospitals is currently north of 220, very few of these apps help users access their medical records, refill prescriptions, or securely message their physicians.
Why Does All This Matter?
The authors of the book, Engage! Transforming Healthcare Through Digital Patient Engagement, explain that most patients forget or misunderstand more than 80% of what a doctor tells them during a visit.
“Using their own employees, IBM studied patient retention of instructions given by their physicians. The employees forgot more than 60% of what they were told within one day, despite being healthier and smarter than the average citizen.”
As patients we clearly need after-visit information. We’re going online looking for places where we can access content that answers our questions. If 2 out of 3 fail to provide this information then we’re stuck in a system of disconnected visits with no online support that fails to make use of the tools available to us as patients. These tools could not only improve our relationship with our health providers, it could make our journey to health so much easier and more effective.
And it would be amazing to have it delivered by our own trusted healthcare providers, so that we don’t have to go searching on our own.