Just Looking: Consumer Use of the Internet to Manage Care – CHCF.org – Report from California Healthcare Foundation on consumer use of the internet. Note use by the uninsured, which tracks other data, showing that this population is online in respectable numbers. In addition, 54 % of those with high school education or less use the Internet to find information about specific medical conditions/prescription drugs. I think a nice proxy for Internet use is the use of online banking, since there’s a component of “convenience” and “confidence” in using these services. A recent analysis of online banking use shows similar results. As the CHCF report says:
These segments of the public likely have the greatest need for information that can help them manage their health, particularly in the case of the uninsured, who many not have regular access to health care.
In my work studying LEAN, I used to put “I see many correlations to clinical practice” on every blog post about another industry’s success in being customer centric in ways that we could learn from, kind of skipped-CD like. For this issue, I’d like to say, “the data demonstrates that every patient in every care system deserves to have this access.” To not provide patient access in HIT installations that serve these populations is the same as reducing access of 40 % of those patients to useful information for them (and their families) to be involved in their care.