Q: When you talk about the types of care that are really important to the populations you serve are we talking about primary care, managing chronic conditions, or acute care procedures? What is the most important gap or need now that someone in your role would be focused on?
Jared: To some extent, it’s all of the above. Starting with primary care, the basic preventative care needs and then, moving up the chain from episodic conditions and urgent emerging conditions to potentially elective procedures, it’s really about making sure that we’re delivering the right care in the right place at the right time and doing so in a manner that aligns with our patients and consumers’ needs in terms of when, where, and how they want to receive that care.
Some of the additional considerations we look at especially in the rural communities, is, what does digital equity look like? Digital equity in and of itself is considered a social determinant of health similar to food shortages, housing, transportation, or other determinants of health. It also looks at whether they have Internet access, reliable broadband, device availability—Do they have smartphones or tablets or computers with a camera at their disposal? Are they digitally literate? Are they comfortable downloading, registering, navigating a digital experience? Or is that potentially a barrier to entry for some of these people to be able to engage in a virtual care experience?
We’re looking across the board at all those different elements and really understanding what it is like in our community for these patients and how do we mitigate some of those barriers and points of friction so that we ultimately can deliver the right care at the right time for them.