Sometimes those who need help the most are the ones who have the ability to receive it the least. Patients in underserved or rural populations often have less access to healthcare because of their geographical location, transportation issues, or financial problems. Thankfully, advancements in technology have the power to help bridge the gap in care among those populations in 2022. According to a recent survey, 52% of CIOs have prioritized patient engagement technology within the past year, partially to help address disparities like these. Here’s why your practice should too!
Mobile Technology Improves Patient Access
Over 80% of rural residents own a smartphone, and this is a game changer for anyone who lives far from an urban area with more clinics. Since the pandemic, mobile patient engagement technology has taken a spotlight and enabled vulnerable populations to gain access to quality healthcare regardless of where they live. Through telehealth, patients no longer need to make the trek to see physicians as frequently in person. Instead, patients simply need to own a mobile device to visit with them remotely, which a majority of individuals already do. This helps improve access for those who would otherwise have issues seeing their physician on a regular basis.
Increased Likelihood of Follow-through
One study indicated that 51% of patients prefer providers who allow them to fill out their paperwork before a visit. While this is a feature that any patient regardless of their demographic might prefer, it’s especially helpful for populations who must travel a long distance in order to receive an in-person visit. This also applies to those who don’t own a vehicle and must take public transportation or rely on someone else to drive them to appointments. When they are able to fill out all pre-registration details and other documentation ahead of time, this will save time for stressed patients who are already burdened by the prospect of an in-person visit, encouraging them to follow through with the appointment. As a result, some studies have even indicated that this technology ultimately leads to improved patient outcomes.
Decreased Costs for Patients
Patient engagement technology not only has the ability to enhance convenience factors for those who need it, but it also lowers out-of-pocket costs for vulnerable populations who have social determinants of health (SDOH) causing them to struggle financially. For instance, those who are having trouble putting food on the table might decide to skip an important follow-up appointment to see a physician because the cost of fuel is too high. However, if this same appointment is available through telemedicine — which won’t require spending any money on fuel or transportation — then it takes that difficult decision out of the equation.
DocResponse’s patient engagement platform empowers any demographic to receive quality care, regardless of their unfavorable social determinants of health. Here are a few ways DocResponse achieves this:
- Their app-free, single-click telemedicine solution is simple for anybody to use, ensuring patients don’t always need to travel to visit with a provider
- Their advanced digital check-in tool allows patients to fill out all paperwork prior to their visit, adding a convenience factor that cuts back on the length of appointment times
- Their mobile device-friendly software helps patients connect no matter where they are, without the need for a vehicle or computer in order to use their tools
Interested in aiding vulnerable populations through the power of technology? Schedule a demo to learn more about how DocResponse helps!