Connecting our world at UW Medicine

UW Medicine Launches Digital Health Office and Digital Front Door


QUICK READ:

  • UW Medicine’s digital health strategy will connect patients to the care they need when they need it.
  • The Digital Health Office has been launched to develop and implement digital health strategies, including consumer digital engagement and virtual care delivery.
  • Dr. John Scott, Dr. Crystal Kong-Wong and Molly Shumway have expanded leadership roles for digital health.

We are pleased to announce the official launch of the Digital Health Office (DHO), a team focused on Virtual Care Delivery and developing a robust Digital Front Door to bring together UW Medicine’s existing technologies, apps, and other digital services into a simple, single sign-on platform. This work is key to achieving our digital health strategy — connecting patients to the care they need when they need it. The work will be governed by the Digital Health Oversight Committee (DHOC), a cross-functional team responsible for digital health initiatives, including consumer digital engagement and virtual care delivery.

We are also pleased to announce the Digital Health Office is led by the following team members who have taken on new, expanded roles:

  • Dr. John D. Scott, MD, MSc, Professor of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Chief Digital Health Officer
  • Dr. Crystal Kong-Wong, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, and Associate Chief Digital Health Officer
  • Molly J. Shumway, MHA, Senior Director of Digital Health

Our digital health strategy recognizes that patients want and expect simple, accessible, better coordinated health experiences, and we must adapt to meet their needs. In contrast, the digital health tools currently used across the UW Medicine system are often disconnected and cumbersome for our patients and care teams. We know we can do better. For example, we know our referral pathways are often unclear, and the process for finding a clinician and making an appointment can be difficult. Additionally, our manual processes impose a heavy administrative burden on staff and clinicians. We have an important opportunity to operate more efficiently and create a more valuable experience for our patients.

The Digital Front Door will link access to all UW Medicine services, virtual care delivery programs, in-person care services and care management. The goal is to create a seamless, consistent patient experience and build better efficiencies and equity across the UW Medicine system.

As we move forward, we will build on important work already in progress, including access optimization efforts and Electronic Health Record consolidation, to improve the patient journey as well as the experience for our clinicians and staff. We will simplify scheduling and referral processes and improve many operational workflows. For patients, we will improve our clinician and location directory, making it easier to find the right clinician at the right location. We are also enhancing online scheduling, expanding telehealth partnerships to provide virtual care to broader geographies in key clinical areas, and making it easier to refer into UW Medicine. In addition, work is underway to enable patients to complete registration and check-in from home and provide more educational tools and communication with patients.

This work will be ongoing and evolving as new technologies are introduced. While the Digital Health Office is leading the work, there are many additional teams and departments participating in our digital health strategy, including: Patient Experience, IT Services, Access & Innovation, Strategic Marketing & Communications, Revenue Cycle, Office of Healthcare Equity, UW Physicians and Clinical Operations leaders.

Together we will work toward a common goal of better access, more efficient systems, improved patient experiences and ultimately better health outcomes. We look forward to sharing more details about specific initiatives and timing over the coming months.

Sincerely,

Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Interim CEO, UW Medicine
Interim Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and
Interim Dean of the School of Medicine,
University of Washington

Lisa Brandenburg
President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics
Vice President for Medical Affairs,
University of Washington

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