For centuries, the concept of healthcare access has been dominated by a visit-based paradigm. The rise of the digital age has changed that. Between wearable devices, mobile applications, and telehealth, doctors and patients are thinking differently about how various health and medical services should be provided and received. Many no longer feel that it’s necessary for every patient-doctor interaction to take place within the confines of an actual doctor’s office. To address these technological and cultural shifts, Booz Allen Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kevin Vigilante, and Dr. Mohsin Khan, a Booz Allen life science expert, propose the concept of “dose-related” connected access to healthcare.
As they explain in an article recently published in the Journal of Ambulatory Care Management, the connected access concept moves healthcare away from a binary model—in which patients either schedule a face-to-face visit or not—and towards a continuum of access styled to match the needs of each patient.
In this way, connected access is administered similarly to a pharmaceutical intervention. Just as pharmacies choose the right drug and administer it through the right channels, at the right dose, and the right intervals, connected access to healthcare would be administered by the right kind of provider, through the right communication modality, with appropriate frequency and timing for the needs of the patient. Providing alternatives to the visit-based paradigm is especially important in an era of increasing chronic illness, the authors explain.