Hospital administrators have always been concerned with digital health literacy since medical computers were introduced into the workplace. The pandemic has only exacerbated these concerns. According to the World Health Organization, digital health literacy is defined as, “the ability to seek, find, understand, and appraise health information from electronic sources and apply the knowledge gained to addressing or solving a health problem.” While doctors, nurses, and all medical staff have no doubt gone through digital training, the same cannot be said for their patients.
Patients cannot be left out of the digital health literacy conversation, especially now. Countless at-risk patients rely on hospitals for their healthcare, but not all of them can regularly visit their local provider due to the pandemic. More senior patients may struggle with telehealth appointments. It is up to hospitals to ensure that their patients are able to easily and safely access the medical information they need.
Digital Health Literacy: Offer An Easy Online Health Portal
72% of US adult internet users seek out medical information online according to the WHO. While there is no doubt quality healthcare information on the internet, there is no substitute for a doctor’s first hand opinion. Create a health portal for your patients that contains articles and information. This portal can include tips on living healthy, as well as answers to some of the most common medical questions. Doctors and nurses can regularly update this portal. Include easy links in these pages for your patients to contact their doctors with further questions.
Give Patients Multiple Language Options
Many patients are digitally savvy, but not every patient speaks English as their first language. Patients may be more averse to seeking out the care they need via telehealth appointments if they are unsure how to even set one up. Create clearly demarcated buttons across your website to change the language. Include languages that are common to your area and the whole of the country.
Host Workshops For Digital Averse Patients
Your more senior patients may struggle with the basics of using their computers, such as using a mouse to interact with objects on screen. Hosting small workshops may greatly bolster their attempts at using computers for medical reasons. These workshops can go over the basics of using a computer to access medical information, digital health literacy, and appointments online.
Digital Health Literacy: Ensure Doctors Know Their Patients’ Limits
Doctors, through no fault of their own, project a sense of authority. It comes with the position. However, this projection of authority can make asking questions difficult for some patients. Have your doctors ask their patients if they know how to access telehealth appointments. Some may be averse to admitting the bounds of their digital health literacy at first. But together, your doctors and patients can make a healthcare plan that fits both these times and future ones.
Bridge The Digital Divide With Tangent
The digital divide doesn’t have to affect healthcare. Ensure that your patients are up to date on their digital health literacy so that their treatments can continue. Tangent is here to help ensure that your doctors can likewise access patient information, perform telehealth appointments, and more on their medical computers. For more information, contact Tangent Sales today.