Feel like spaghetti for dinner but don’t want to cook when you get home? Uber Eats has you covered. Don’t have time for grocery shopping? Instacart is there. Need to pay some bills? Just go to your bank’s bill pay function and pay away. Need to schedule an appointment with your doctor? Just go to your doctor’s website and…oh wait, your doctor doesn’t have an online scheduling option. What’s up with that?
In a world where most industries offer fast and efficient technology for everything from shopping to paying bills to enrolling in college, healthcare still lags behind. While some progress has been made, there is still room for improvement. According to Rob Klein, Founder and CEO of Klein & Partners, “Retail has learned healthcare faster than healthcare has learned retail."
Consumers used to 24/7 access delivered in an easy-to-use manner are demanding the same from healthcare. Granted, healthcare information is highly regulated due to security issues, so it faces additional barriers to access than many other industries. But banking is also highly regulated, yet this industry is known as providing digital ease and convenience to its customers.
Dr. Charles Alessi, chief clinical officer at HIMSS, says, "There's no logical explanation as to why this [fast, easy digital access] shouldn't happen, there's every reason why individuals should actually get more control over their health and care."
He continues, "The reality is that health systems aren't particularly helpful when it comes to giving people permission to get control over their health and care, but of course it will happen, and it has to happen, because consumers are taking control of the process. However, it's still kicking and screaming at the moment."
Healthcare is making progress with digital access but it still has a ways to go.