Distributed Care

As we build toward distributed models of care, soon the answer to the question “where does healthcare happen?” will be “everywhere and anywhere.”

Today health happens in the grocery store, at the gym, on the bus, and in the kitchens and bedrooms of our patients’ communities – not just a healthcare facility. If the health care system is going to transition away from being a “sick care” system, care must be distributed, extending beyond the four walls of the clinic. Care must be delivered where and when health happens: the places, devices, and channels where it’s most accessible and relevant to patients.


Where Does Health Happen?

In this research-based report you’ll learn:

  • How healthcare is experiencing a digital transformation analogous to the one the financial industry experienced in the early 2000s and how that shift will affect the overall patient experience.
  • The two massive trend models that are fueling health care’s business evolution and how they’ll influence patient expectations.
  • How health systems can harness the momentum of virtual care to build holistic, blended experiences.
  • The key opportunities both digital innovators and health systems need to pursue to stand up new distributed care frameworks.

Estimates attribute only 


of health outcomes to medical care. The rest is attributedto genetics and social determinants of health.

As many as

1 billion

virtual visits were conducted in the US during 2020 with over 70% of patients using virtual methods for the first time.

Post-COVIDwe expect up to


of all provider visitsto be virtual

Featured Distributed Care Projects

“DexCare was instrumental as we transformed our ambulatory care model to better meet the needs of patients over the past few years. In 2020, scalability of the DexCare platform was instrumental in our response to COVID. We’re proud that this internally developed and incubated technology is now ready to be made available to other health systems—furthering the Providence vision of health for a better world.”

Rod Hochman, M.D.
President and CEO, Providence

As the leaders at Providence treated the first COVID-19 case in the country, the need for digital technology to support the growing healthcare needs became even more clear. In response, the Providence Digital Innovation Group developed a COVID-19 Consumer Hub and Bot. Their efforts provided a single source for accurate, up-to-date information about COVID-19. Bot technology named “Grace” assists with self-assessment and a virtual triage tool, and an FAQ bot offers information and real time access to testing and vaccine info.


My Covid Diary is a clinical research project that uses technology to learn and document COVID-19 onset and disease progression. Sponsored by Providence, this clinical research project uses technology to collect and analyze first-person accounts of COVID-19 from thousands of individuals—with the hope of accelerating the medical identification, understanding and treatment of this novel disease.

Recommended Distributed Care Resources

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Additional Reading

Digital Innovation

Forbes: Distribution And Decentralization Are Crucial In the Healthcare Sector

July 12, 2023  |  Sara Vaezy

In her most recent Forbes article, Sara Vaezy states: “Ensuring the future of today’s health system requires more than organizational alignment.​ Systems must leverage the expertise of partners to truly serve their community’s whole health needs. They must invest in the power of digital to connect those relationships both on the front and back end […]

Digital Innovation

Digital perspective: COVID and the need for healthcare without walls

August 1, 2021  |  Providence Digital Innovation Group

Key takeaways: The Digital Innovation Group at Providence is providing perspectives on how healthcare can be improved for everyone through technology. Digital Perspective reports outline goals for improved care options and strategies to make them possible. Providence has learned many lessons from the pandemic about delivering care without walls. [3 MIN READ] Providence was the […]

Digital Innovation

Where Does Health Happen?

April 9, 2021  |  Aaron Martin

If you were to ask someone in 1980 “where does banking happen?,” they probably would’ve stated the obvious. “At a bank.” Someone needing to withdraw cash was instructed to come to the bank. Someone needing to change their contact information was likewise told: come to the bank. Open an account? Come to the bank. Cash […]

Innovation at Scale

2021: The Year Broken Health Care Systems Begin the Healing Process

February 24, 2021  |  Sara Vaezy

The Covid-19 pandemic didn’t break healthcare. It just brought to high relief the existing fractures. This is good, because those fracture lines become the map and roadways for where we in health care innovation need to focus our efforts. And having the failures of our systems be so obvious is giving set-in-their-ways health systems, payors […]

Digital Innovation

What Do Online Reservation Platforms Have To Do With Healthcare?

November 3, 2020  |  Providence Digital Innovation Group

Booking a table at a restaurant used to be a chore. You’d spend seemingly forever on hold only to learn there were no spots available, or that the restaurant wasn’t even open. And then you’d have to start all over at another restaurant. But today making reservations is a breeze. With a smartphone, you can […]

Digital Innovation

What Do Online Travel Booking Sites Have To Do With Healthcare?

October 27, 2020  |  Providence Digital Innovation Group

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth (that is, before the internet), here’s how people made travel plans: they would call up a bunch of airlines, wait on hold, painstakingly jot down flight times and prices, call back their chosen airline hoping the flight would be still available, and finally give their credit card number to […]

Digital Innovation

What Happens When Your Online Catalog is Easily Shoppable?

October 12, 2020  |  Providence Digital Innovation Group

Pre-internet, shopping was an endurance sport. It meant spending hours, or days, going from store to store, down aisle after aisle, until finally, maybe, you found what you were looking for. And if you wondered if it was actually cheaper somewhere else, you would have no choice but to summon the energy and start your […]

Digital Innovation

Building a Healthier Future (Part III)

October 4, 2019  |  Providence Digital Innovation Group

The Digital Innovation Group here at Providence St. Joseph Health is constantly tracking the latest healthcare tech to find ways to give you more control over where, when and how you access services to help you live a healthy, active life. In this information age, data is everything — and everything we do produces data. […]

Digital Innovation

The Think Tank Ep. 2: Leveraging Digital Solutions to Improve Access

September 9, 2019  |  Providence Digital Innovation Group

What happens when you bring together two bright minds to tackle healthcare’s challenges? This isn’t your typical brainstorm between healthcare experts. No, this is a supercharged session between two minds that work in similar, but very disparate industries. Our guests talk about a broad challenge they face, and discuss how they’ve approached the problem in […]

Digital Innovation

Building a Healthier Future (Part II)

August 21, 2019  |  Providence Digital Innovation Group

Technology in healthcare often seems to change at such a rapid-fire pace that it’s all but impossible to stay informed about the ever-changing advancements in services and products devoted to your health. The Digital Innovation Group at Providence stays current on new and ongoing developments in healthcare technology to find ways to give you the most advanced […]

Digital Innovation

Simplifying Care Through Improved Digital Engagement

June 15, 2018  |  Providence Digital Innovation Group

Delighting Patients Through Digital.  Today, the world of planned, non-emergency procedures such as knee-replacements is often complex and confusing for patients. Health systems ask individuals to be the “general contractor for their own care” as Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) Chief Clinical Officer Amy Compton-Phillips says. Patients organize finding the right doctor for their problem […]

Digital Innovation

5 Ways Medicaid Can Serve Society Better

May 7, 2018  |  Providence Digital Innovation Group

Medicaid is a powerful program and an indispensable resource for over 50 million Americans. It’s also a political football, a challenging service model for health care providers and patients alike, and an institution whose structural challenges (like state-by-state inconsistencies) and decades-old blind spots (like limited programs focused on social determinants of health) keep it from realizing […]

Digital Innovation

Express Care & the 10x Better Experience in Healthcare

April 18, 2018  |  Providence Digital Innovation Group

In our other articles, we’ve discussed driving innovation at scale by going digital with our customers, which first means having healthcare consumers transact and engage with us online. We do this by enticing our customers to work with us online by delivering a 10 times better online experience as compared to offline. It is necessary […]