Patient Access – It’s About Time
November 3, 2016
The New York Times recently took a look at why the U.S. still trails many wealthy nations in access to care and argued that while the Affordable Care Act has helped reduce the number of uninsured Americans, it has done little to improve timely access to care:
“When asked if patients could get a same-day or next-day appointment with their provider when they were sick or needed care, 52 percent of Americans said no. This placed the United States next to last among these countries. Only Canada (59 percent) was worse.”
Flexibility and convenience for patients have long been ignored in healthcare, and as a result, access continues to be a problem whether you are insured or not.
Addressing this problem together, Vanderbilt is leveraging MyHealthDirect’s digital care coordination solutions that integrate with Epic and enable patients to search, locate, and book online directly with their physicians through a self-scheduling platform. The partnership guides patients to the best physician match based on their condition and the physician’s availability and enable digital self-scheduling 24/7.
The difficulty of self-scheduling is enabling a solution that easily adapts to various provider schedules and can automate their individual scheduling rules. Furthermore, it must take into account the complexities of individual patient scenarios to ensure they are seen by the right physician.
For instance, to schedule an orthopedic appointment, you have to factor in multiple variables such as affected body part and patient demographics before presenting the patient with appointment options that best fit their need and schedule.
MyHealthDirect’s business rules and decision support functionalities allow Vanderbilt to accomplish both of these, by presenting to patients the series of questions that a scheduler would normally ask to discover the best care for a patient and then successfully guide them to the right physician match.
You can learn more about our partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Health IT Outcomes.