I’m amazed by the incredible access I have to the world, thanks to modern technology. Things like buying a gift or making a dinner reservation used to require at least a phone call, if not a trip to a brick-and-mortar store. But today, I can access a wide array of goods and services from my laptop, tablet or smartphone. You might not realize that technology is making healthcare more accessible, too. Getting what you need from your healthcare team is important. Why shouldn’t you be able to use your computer, tablet or smartphone to do it?

Finding a doctor and making an appointment online has never been easier. You can search for a physician by name, location or specialty at UnityPoint.org. Once you’ve found one, you can request an appointment by filling out a simple online form. When you’ve finished, a member of our care coordination team takes cares of everything and contacts you with your confirmed appointment time. It’s an easy way to get the care you need when you need it.

You can manage your health records and communicate with your doctor’s office using our patient portal, My UnityPoint. It’s a safe and easy way to access information on office visits, medications, immunizations and more. Parents can access My UnityPoint on a child’s behalf. You can send a message to your physician’s office to ask a question or make an appointment. And yes, there’s an app for My UnityPoint. Download it to your smartphone, and you can view your information when and where it’s convenient for you.

Sometimes you need medical treatment right away in one of our emergency departments. Making a quick decision on which one to visit is simple: just go to UnityPoint.org/Peoria to view wait times for the emergency departments on our Methodist and Proctor campuses. Wait times are updated every 30 minutes, and you can see them on our full website or our mobile site.

We’re also making it easier for you to interact with us. On our Facebook page, you’ll find a new healthy recipe each week, with delicious ideas like “Pineapple Upside Down Cake” and “Heart Healthy Halibut.” We’re also breaking down complex health issues with easy-to-understand infographics and articles. Plus, we’ve created a new blog called Crib Notes, which provides moms-to-be with helpful tips and interesting facts on pregnancy and motherhood.

It wasn’t that long ago when most of us couldn’t have imagined making a doctor’s appointment, planning dinner and ordering a birthday present all from a small device we keep in our pockets. But today, it’s possible—and it’s making healthcare simpler right here in central Illinois. In the future, you can expect us to introduce more high-tech tools, including online health risk assessments, allowing you to determine your risk for specific conditions and make an appointment with a specialist; eVisits, which will give you access to a physician via your computer or smartphone; and online appointment scheduling, making it easier to see when specific providers have appointment times available. At UnityPoint Health – Peoria, we’re committed to providing the Best Outcome to Every Patient, Every Time. I am excited about the many ways technology is helping us achieve that vision. iBi