Why Digital Accessibility Is a Crucial Component of Patient Care

November 6, 2019
Keir Bradshaw is executive vice president of MERGE

Keir Bradshaw, executive vice president, MERGE

“[W]e must acknowledge the unmatched role of hospitals and health systems as caretakers of our communities,” says Keir Bradshaw, executive vice president of MERGE. “Digital accessibility goes beyond mere compliance measures. It’s a way to extend care to the community just as compassionately online as we do on-site.”

Read on for an excerpt of Bradshaw’s new article:

At the human level, digital accessibility is a crucial facet of patient-centered care. It should be as hardwired into healthcare organizations as HIPAA. Today, we have the opportunity to view digital accessibility not as a compliance or business issue, but as a means to build a culture of accessibility within our healthcare organizations.

Data from the recent national survey, Greystone Engage Survey Series 2019: ADA Compliance, shows that nearly 81 percent of respondents considered web accessibility “important” or “very important” to their healthcare organizations. Likewise, 79 percent answered “yes” to the question: Has your organization implemented any ADA Compliance guidelines in accordance with W3C recommendations?

At first glance, such high survey numbers are great news. They indicate a keen awareness of website accessibility as a crucial healthcare initiative. But dig deeper and a few cracks start to appear.

Moreover, the digital accessibility discussions within many organizations may not extend much further than their websites. Interestingly, 50 percent to 70 percent of the respondents answered “not compliant” or “unsure” to the question: How ADA Compliant is your organization’s mobile app and other properties beyond the website…?

So here’s the takeaway: The vast majority of healthcare organizations are starting to address website accessibility. The next step is to progress beyond just the website to ensure all digital assets comply with both the letter and the intent of the accessibility standards.

Read the full article now: Digital Accessibility: Why It Should Be a Matter of Culture, Not Compliance

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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