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OhioHealth Enhances Patient Experience through New Technical Solutions

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega OhioHealth Enhances Patient Experience through New Technical Solutions
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Going to the doctor sucks. It’s not even about the nauseating ear and nose check, or the stick down your throat, or the cold end of a stethoscope on your back. It’s literally just going that almost makes it not worth it. First step is finding a physician. Then, you have to schedule an appointment — and if you’re sick today, you probably won’t be by the time your appointment comes around. Then, you’ll need to find a way to get there, a tough barrier for many.

OhioHealth’s new digital team has unleashed some new technical solutions aimed at mitigating some of the frustration around doctor visits. The local healthcare system has revamped their website, launched an app, and released an Alexa skill. On the lookout for new talent, and ready to spend some money on emerging technologies, OhioHealth is hoping to establish a unique consumer experience that competes locally and nationally.

“What will distinguish OhioHealth on a national stage? Part of the answer, for us, is the digital experience that we provide,” said Salil Verma, Vice President of Digital Customer Experience at OhioHealth. “More and more people rely on that experience that they feel, whether it’s getting your lab results, your test results, whether you’re scheduling a test, finding a doctor — it’s getting harder and harder to do these days. So, we wanted to make those experiences really nifty.”

They started with their website and app. On each, patients can now see their lab values and test results. They can find a physician by narrowing the search to only the discipline needed (cardiology, pediatrics, etc.) and then schedule an appointment immediately. Star ratings are next to each physician as well, based on reviews submitted by other patients.

For those looking for an urgent care, both the OhioHealth website and app have a map of locations, each listed with its real-time waiting period, so patients know which of the closest urgent care facilities can see them sooner.

If transportation is needed, the app has a function that allows patients to order an Uber that will take them to the urgent care facility they selected.

“If you’re using the same patient portal that every other healthcare system is using, then how is your experience distinct? How does it provide what the user really wants?” Verma said. “So, we took sort of the engine of that and then we rebuilt the body of the entire car, so that it looked a little cooler and operated a little cooler.”

The OhioHealth user experience extends beyond their website and app. Alexa users (as well as Echo, Echo Dot, and Google Home users) can access many of the same functions through their voice command device. Saying, “Alexa, start OhioHealth,” will activate the skill, allowing patients to find nearby locations of OhioHealth urgent care centers and the contact information and wait times for each.

Looking to spend some money on research and development, OhioHealth has explored the potential of emerging technologies like 3D printing, drones, and blockchain. As they explore these new avenues, the digital team at Ohio Health is searching for fresh talent from people who, themselves, are tired of the healthcare experience.

“We can do some of the R&D [research and development] work and we can build and improve the experiences for really frustrated healthcare customers,” Verma said. “Healthcare kind of sucks in America. If you have that discipline and you can lend your discipline of software engineering to the world, then that’s how you should lend it, because you can both fix the experience for yourself if you feel healthcare sucks, and you can make it better for other people as well.”

For more information, visit ohiohealth.com

Our new technology series is presented by our partners in the City of Dublin.

Dublin is a city of more than 47,000 residents located just northwest of Columbus, Ohio. The City of Dublin Economic Development team has a vision to make Dublin a Midwest IT Magnet through business leadership and sustainable workforce development. This commitment goes beyond short-term skills training to include long-term strategic and cultural support for the entire Dublin business community. Dublin is one of America’s Top 20 Creative Class Cities and is home to more than 20 corporate headquarters, an entrepreneurial center, 3,000+ businesses, world-class events and the urban, walkable Bridge Street District.

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