Introducing the Digital Equity Experts (DEX) Program at Hennepin Healthcare
Healthcare delivery and consumption have become highly dependent on digital tools. So much so that digital literacy and access could be viewed as super social determinants of health and well-being because they truly impact many social drivers in a patient’s life. Hennepin Healthcare is on the path to making better access to care by creating more digital equity. Introducing the Digital Equity Experts (DEX) program!
Recently crossing the 800-patient mark, the DEX program aims to address the gaps in digital access by providing at-the-elbow support to patients who may need extra assistance. While much of the support they provide will be related to healthcare tools like MyChart, the scope of support extends far beyond that to things like helping set up an email address or referring them to county programs that can provide hardware and broadband solutions at little or no cost.
Via a partnership with Teen Hope, Hennepin Healthcare provides training and workplace opportunities to interns in the DEX program to fast-track them to careers in healthcare. The secondary aim of DEX is to provide career opportunities in healthcare to young adults like Nancy Holmes. Nancy has worked with Hennepin Healthcare for six months as a Digital Navigator in the DEX program. She is currently a student studying Psychology and Nursing. With this job, she is gaining experience toward her long-term career goals.
Digital navigators interact with patients and become vital to the healthcare system. “[It’s] good to know that I made a difference in their life to help them get their medication easier or to talk to their doctor,” Nancy says about working with patients. The support goes beyond creating emails and setting up MyChart for the patients. Sometimes, patients ask for assistance with how to use their phones, and Nancy is always happy to help them.
Like the Talent Garden and other community-focused initiatives at Hennepin Healthcare, the Digital Equity Experts program has a dual focus on diversity and equity for both our Hennepin Healthcare team and more broadly in our communities.
If you’ve identified a patient with needs related to digital access or literacy including MyChart, internet access at home, or even setting up a personal email account, Hennepin Healthcare’s Digital Equity Experts can help! Reach out to the team at “DEX” via Telmediq, or via email at email@example.com.