We asked Dr Jen Bichel-Findlay FAIDH CHIA, Honorary Associate at UTS and Examination Committee Chair, to point to a recent publication/resource that is relevant to a CHIA. She recommends: Supporting patient engagement with digital health care innovations.
A research summary released in May 2022 by the Nuffield Trust – Supporting patient engagement with digital health care innovations: Lessons from the Care City test bed – highlights the risks of digital exclusion in a pandemic environment. The summary identifies the ‘digital inverse care law’, whereby those most in need of assistance are least likely to connect with digital platforms. The Care City test bed examined factors that support patient and staff engagement in the use of six digital innovations between June 2019 and August 2020. The authors identified four main messages:
- The point at which the innovation is provided can have a significant impact, with face-to-face referral by a trusted person having the potential to influence the willingness of engagement.
- The process for implementing and supporting can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, so capacity, time, and resources need to be built into the implementation schedule.
- Digital innovation needs to be viewed as one part of a patient’s healthcare journey, therefore regular ongoing support from the healthcare team is critical, as well as maintaining access to existing models of care to guarantee that those who do not want to use digital innovations do not miss out.
- Issues with technology access can arise at any stage of the patient journey, not just in the initial stage, and implementation teams should remain open and flexible to modifying the innovations or the way they are being utilised.
The research summary acknowledges that just because an individual has access to technology does not mean they will automatically want to use it for their healthcare, and concludes with twelve key lessons for policy and practice.
Reading this publication relates to Competency F.13 – explain the influences of the digital divide upon nations, regions, and peoples.
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Dr Jen Bichel-Findlay FAIDH CHIA
Honorary Associate at UTS and Examination Committee Chair