Digital inequity is often left out of the health care industry’s overall commitment to health equity—either because many leaders don’t consider it, or they don’t feel the same responsibility to close the gaps of digital inequity. They think of it as someone else’s problem, like the government’s, or they deprioritize it because they don’t think their business will be negatively impacted by it.
There are a few misconceptions that perpetuate inaction around digital inequity:
Misconceptions about digital inequity
It isn’t an issue for a majority of the population.
Digital inequity is only experienced by a small subset of patients served. Digitally-enabled patients are the majority and building for them is smart. Organizations can design or implement digital solutions for digitally-enabled patients and ignore the patients who can’t use their digital solutions without consequence to overall outcomes or their bottom line.
It can’t be the main priority of any one leader or department.
While addressing digital inequity may be an organization-wide goal, there doesn’t need to be a single, accountable leader because it doesn’t fall wholly into any one person’s existing responsibilities.
It’s just a feel-good mission-driven initiative.
A commitment to addressing digital inequity is nothing more than virtue signaling. Without concrete ROI to measure impact, there’s no impetus to prioritize digital inequity over other organizational goals that have quantifiable outcomes.