Vancouver, B.C.-based Tickit Health is bringing the questionnaires patients fill out when they visit a doctor into the digital age. Focusing on young people, its digital survey platform is device agnostic, working on tablets, desktop or laptop computers, or on smartphones via email or SMS.
Co-founder and chief executive officer Dr. Sandy Whitehouse, an adolescent pediatrician, realized that the paper questionnaires teens were handed when they came in for care were often not completed. If they were, the patient wasn’t entirely truthful, and in any case, doctors ignored them. She believed there was a better way to gather necessary information. That revelation led to the founding of Tickit Health in 2012, and ultimately, this year’s Channel Innovation Award diamond award for best solution supporting diversity and inclusion.
Tickit’s platform uses gamification, pictograms, and icons to guide teens through comprehensive questionnaires that include sensitive subjects like mental health, substance use or abuse, and sexual activity. The language is youth-friendly, accommodates those with literacy challenges, and is culturally appropriate; it has been adapted for North American First Nations and for Aboriginal populations in Australia, and is also in use at institutions such as Boston Children’s Hospital, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles Health Services, and Toronto’s SickKids.
Results are impressive. The platform has resulted in a 400 per cent increase in data collection over paper questionnaires, with up to 90 per cent reduction in completion time and 14 per cent better risk detection. Not only were there more results in less time, those responses were of better quality; Tickit surveys received 89 per cent more responses to questions about self-harm, and 73 per cent more about sexual activity, according to a report from Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in New South Wales, Australia.
Patients enjoy the approachable and interactive platform, and they feel less stigma when disclosing information about sensitive topics such as mental health.
Providers value the Tickit tool because it easily enhances their existing workflows, improves the quantity and quality of patient-reported data, and provides actionable, real-time insights at point-of-care to improve care decisions, hence improving health outcomes. In research conducted at the Granville Youth Health Centre, a youth health and wellness centre in British Columbia, 80 per cent of the care team found the information from Tickit health surveys very useful, and 93 per cent of the 500 clients surveyed were very or somewhat comfortable answering the tablet-based survey. Only five per cent found answering the questions confusing. And 91 per cent of clients agreed that completing the health survey helped staff provide them with better health care.
The gold winner in this category was Clear Concepts.