Using real-time data to empower consumers
Consumers need access to quality, up-to-date information to make an informed choice regarding their urgent healthcare needs.
With this in mind, MSH could create a smartphone app that gives consumers access to real-time data about our emergency departments—alongside information on ED alternatives and live traffic data tailored to their location.
In one easy-to-understand screen, the app could show consumers:
- Live waiting times and numbers of patients waiting to be seen at each emergency department
- Live alternative options such as GPs, pharmacies and urgent care centres that are open “now” (including bulk billing options)
- Live traffic information to determine the estimated driving time to each emergency department / GP / pharmacy.
Utilising a smartphone’s inbuilt GPS, the live information could be tailored to the consumer's exact location.
All the data described above is freely available to MSH using existing datasets and APIs.
If the consumer makes the decision to go to the emergency department, they could click through to see further information about the chosen ED, including:
- address and parking/access information
- driving directions (integrated with Google Maps)
- continued live updates on waiting times / numbers of patients in the ED (providing context/education on why the person may have to wait longer for less urgent conditions)
- “how the ED works” – i.e. information about the triage system.
The app could include the ability to easily dial 000 in case of an emergency of 13 HEALTH if the consumer is unsure.
This initiative could be developed in partnership with the Brisbane South PHN and Queensland Ambulance Service.
See the existing app “ACT Health” for a fantastic example.
Why the contribution is important
- As a Digital Health Service, MSH has a wealth of real-time data available. With around 90% of Australians owning a smartphone (source: https://www2.deloitte.com/au/mobile-consumer-survey), MSH has an opportunity to exploit this freely available data, as well as the native functionality in smartphones, to inform consumer choice.
- In the marketing world, the concept of "customer decision journey" has drastically changed in the past 10 years with the advent of smartphones. Consumers now spend mcuh more time "researching" options on the internet/social media before committing to a purchase decision (source: https://medium.com/analytics-for-humans/the-evolution-of-consumer-behavior-in-the-digital-age-917a93c15888). The same concept could be applied to healthcare decisions.
- Literature shows that consumers who have access to waiting time and driving distance information use this to make more informed choices for their urgent care needs (sources: Xie and Youash, International Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2011, 4:29; Schiro et al, Digital Healthcare Empowering Europeans, 2015, 663; Shaikh et al, The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2013, 44:1).
- This initiative would support Planetree component 3, “Providing patients with information and educational resources so they can actively participate in their own care”.
by aaroncameron on August 12, 2019 at 07:46AM